Brian’s Reflection: Friday, October 31, 2008
Ancient Druid Feast of Samhain
All Hallows Eve
Nothing can beat the smell of dew and flowers and the odor
that comes out of the earth when the sun goes down.
- Ethel Waters, singer and actress, born on this day, 1896
Oh, I have known that smell! So different wherever I’ve been. In Montfort, the smell of evening grass and of gladiolas and toast on the wood stove. In Liberia, the smell of kerosene and of palm oil and of dark green plants. In Brasil, the smell of wood fires on the beach, and the smell of fish grilling, and the sea under a full moon. In Nicaragua, the smell of thatch, and of pineapple getting just to the edge of over-ripe, and of rotting logs. In Mississippi, the smell of charcoal and of beer. In Montreal, the smell of the river, and of Vietnamese cooking. In St. Croix, the smell of night, and flowers. So many other places!
When the sun goes down, the earth gives back the moisture it has absorbed and hoarded. And the coolness. I love it because, while being among it, I know how much I am a part of it. It makes me feel my connection with the ground, the darkness, the scents of nature. And with my own ground, my darkness, my odor of dust.
Richness is what I smell when the sun goes down. And, I smell nostalgia, and longing, and aloneness. It is like the absence of “God”, but like the waiting soil in which Life will sprout when kissed by Light and Warmth. Together, the time of waiting is redolent with urgent power, and the time of Sun-rising the time of flowering and beauty. Together, they are like Faith and Love, Soil and blossom.
We are such a Mystery. We are Sun Setting and Sun Rising - The Christ descending into our flesh, and the Divine bursting forth incarnate into each day.