This is a strange poem to be posting as we haven’t yet gotten to the summer solstice, the longest day of our year. Samhein as you’ll see is well after summer. But, this was the poem I found when looking for something to explore, discuss, and write about healing. How do we help other’s heal and how much healing work do we have to do ourselves to be able to help another person? There is much in the greater world that is sore from today’s wounds and there are many in my small classes that need a salve as well.
Below, I include a quote and after the poem some notes are included as well. Don’t miss that the poem itself ends with some very apt words about death, relationships with mothers, and living with family.
“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” Max de Pree
Samhein Sylvia Bortin Patience
As days shorten and darkness lengthens,
we celebrate the seed under the earth,
a new year growing in winter’s womb,
the beginning and end of life
stirring in the dark.
The veil thins between the worlds,
those who died are welcomed home.
Rituals of water and mirrors
reflect the light of fires across the void
that separates living from dead.
Cailleach, the blue-black goddess,
begins her reign of wintry night.
I have placed my altar and my candles
in the western window as a guide
for my mother’s spirit journey home.
As she comes closer, I see she has lost
the trappings of her later years,
the walker and the wheelchair.
She moves lightly, a young woman,
dreaming down the beach in search of shells,
lilacs from Iowa in her hands.
Her blue eyes look far away within
where perhaps a poem even now begins.
I am unable to imagine
what she might say to me, or I to her.
The vision remains without a voice.
Even when we lived together,
it was hard for us to know each other.
I have no wish to interrupt her reverie.
For both of us, the poems are enough.
Samhain (pronounced SAH-win) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year.