As part of my new broom activities on Sunday I retrieved this spider and its web which had been removed from their previous home about 2 years ago when we moved a fence and which had been nonchalantly stuck behind a tree ever since. It only took a few minutes to choose a suitable new home and another few minutes to hammer in the retaining nails, so why it had taken this long to redisplay its credentials I do not know! The idea came from a Gardeners’ World magazine some years ago, and although the original web had been made to fit its space this was a reasonably well-fitting alternative; the spider came from eBay, from a successful trawl when I searched for ‘spider’ items . It’s made from recycled metal and I couldn’t have asked for anything better; needless to say, I am chuffed with having got round to putting it back, although the chuffedness is not really deserved!
I was reading an article yesterday about the festival of Samhain in Cygnus Review, a monthly review of books to ‘heal your body, feed your soul, free your mind, love your planet’; Croft Garden also mentioned it in an earlier post. I didn’t know much about it so searched out more details. It seems that Samhain is an important date in the Pagan calendar as it marks the Feast of the Dead and is sometimes celebrated as the old Celtic New Year, or as the modern ‘celebration’ of Halloween. It was the time of year when the veils between this world and the ‘Otherworld’ were believed to be at their thinnest, when the spirits of the dead could most readily mingle with the living once again. As Death also symbolises endings Samhain may be a time for reflecting not only on mortality, but also on the passing of relationships, jobs and other significant changes in life – a time for taking stock of the past and coming to terms with it, in order to move on and look forward to the future.
Thinking about this, I wondered about the feelings I have had recently, about suddenly coming to terms with the season and the end of the earlier abundance, suddenly accepting the need to brush it all away and prepare for winter and the new growth that follows – is it instinctive, a primitive response borne out of this time of year as it may have been for centuries? If so, then it is indeed a time for celebration.