Thursday, October 31, 2019

Resilience and Hope

Earlier this evening, All Hallows Eve, my friends Brent, Sharon, and Cori and I attended BareBones' 26th Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza at Hidden Falls Regional Park, on the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. It was my first time attending this popular Twin Cities cultural event. And, yes, it was definitely worth braving the chilly autumn night air to see it.

This year's extravaganza was entitled "And the Fires Will Burn," and I very much appreciate how Rah Diavola, co-director of BareBones, talks about what this means.

Resilience and Hope. When asked about this year’s theme, that is my answer.

As the seasons change and the veil thins, we take time to reflect on everything that is, all that has passed and that which is yet to come. The cycles of life and death, grief and loss, struggle and success carry on. We put our gardens to bed and bundle in our cocoons to weather the long, dark and cold nights that lay ahead. We take time to go inward, to heal, to transform. We struggle to break free from all that holds us back as we search for light. We hold onto hope for spring’s renewal.

We chose the dandelion as our thru line because of it’s simplicity. Within that simplicity, there is potency. Dandelions are a symbol of resistance, resilience and hope. They grow through the cracks and spread their seeds blown with wishes upon the wind and water. They are seen as weeds to be poisoned and destroyed. Yet they are brilliant medicinal healers and readily available food for all. Dandelions continue to flourish and provide nourishment in spite of it all.

Thru all of our struggles, our heartbreak, confusion, grief, and loss we must carry on. Find hope in the seeds scattered on the wind; in the river that rushes on; the webs that continue to weave; and in the fires that still burn.

Above and below: These figures immediately got my attention due to their resemblance to Cernunnos, antlered god of the ancient Celts.

Above and below: The Memorial Tree, where I lit a candle
for my father Gordon Bayly, who died earlier this year. The victims of violence, including Philando Castile, where especially remembered by the placing of their photographs on the tree and by the following invocation.

At this hour of Memorial ~ veils thin ~ We recall with grief all who have perished through the cruelty of oppression – victims of demonic hate. They lie in nameless graves, far off lonely fields, many have been scattered by the winds to the four corners, yet they shall not be forgotten for we take them into our hearts and give them a place besides our own cherished memories of loved ones. May their memories be an enduring blessing for all. In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember. In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember. In the opening of buds and the rebirth of spring, we remember them. We remember them. In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn, we remember them. When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them. So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us as we remember them. . . .

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Samhain: A Time of Magick and Mystery
At Hallowtide, Pagan Thoughts on Restoring Our World and Our Souls
The Pagan Roots of All Saints Day
Halloween Thoughts
An All Hallows Eve Reflection
A Hallowtide Reflection
“Call Upon Those You Love”
All You Holy Men and Women
Our Sacred Journey Continues: An All Saints and Souls Day Reflection
An All Souls Day Reflection
“A Dark Timelessness and Stillness Surrounds Her Wild Abandonment”
Gabriel Fauré's “ChristoPagan” Requiem
Advent: A “ChristoPagan” Perspective
Magician Among the Spirits

Related Off-site Link:
Samhain: Honoring Ancestors of Craft and Tradition – Coby Michael Ward (Patheos, October 15, 2018).

Images: Michael J. Bayly (October 31, 2019).

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