Monday, October 27, 2014

Samhain's Feast

Every year at this time, we come together to celebrate the season - the Harvest point, the end of Summer and it's attendant approach into the sleeping time of Winter while the earth renews itself. 

Whether you call it Harvest Festival, Dia De Los Muertos, Halloween, or Samhain, the sense of remembering the Honored Dead who have gone on to the next life seems to be universal.

For myself, I celebrate Samhain (pronounced sow-win) which is the ancient Celtic harvest feast and rememberance of the dead.  Each year, I make a trek to an SCA event held near Lawton, OK, along with about 150 other people. 

There we choose the next year's champions in several areas of skill during the day, and that night, we light a bonfire - the Samhain Fire - and hold a sort of vigil where we speak of our Honored dead and let go of our grief at losing them.

This year, I chose to once again compete for the honor of being named the Title Bard (Champion Entertainer) for the Barony of Eldern Hills (Lawton, OK SCA branch) who hosts the Samhain event I usually attend.  I was not quite fortunate enough to win - the young lady who did is a very talented musician - vocalist, harpist, and composer of her own music.

This is the piece that I wrote in preparation for that competition.

 Samhain's Feast

Sunshine on red and gold, orange, pale tan, and deepest green.
Mother Nature - Life's Lady 
dressed in Autumn splendor to hold court for the Earth
before Winter's death like sleep.

Dusk approaches, and the table is set
Empty places waiting amongst those who 
sit in revelry at Life's Table.

Night, creeping ever so slowly upon us
It thins the veil, opening the doorway
for ancestral visitors:
those Honored dead
who have gone before us to Valhalla
to sit and drink mead with the Gods!

Will you feast with us now?
Or will you exact payment for past transgressions
and send us to the very Halls of Hel?

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