Autumn is my time for nesting, settling, squirreling away good food and warm blankets for the dark time approaching. As the trees shed their leaves to store up energy, I clean and sort and organize, shedding the people and things and relationships which do not serve me, conserving my own energy to survive the bitter cold ahead.
It is no coincidence that the time of the Dark One, Crone, is about deconstruction and destruction, and it happens in the Autumn, the Winter. Now it seems even the harsh nights of low temperatures are working to break us down, wear out our resolve, so that we might remember how it is to just survive.
I often see Hir in the mirror: the leathered face, skin stretched taut over smooth, old bones. The gnarled roots of feet and toes, digging deeper into the fertile ground of unknowing. Grandmothir visits me in these darkening days, in moments I feel most vibrant, to remind me that there is a time for silence among the exuberant shouting.
Now, as I prepare to move into what I hope will be a more permanent home, the Dark One calls to me, beckons me to travel south, into the blackness, into a place so void of sensation my every sense comes alive. It is not to death shi calls me, but to my core -- the tiny seed in the center from which comes all that is, was, and ever shall be. Inside the seed lies the trueness of my existence: unbiased, uncensored, unscarred by the events of a life lived. It is here I find the source of integrity, of forgiveness.
And in this time of waning, of covering windows and raking leaves, Shi draws me inward, like Annie Dillard's moth, in the darkness of deep night, to become a flame.