A time of change

posted in: Life and things | 0

It’s a muggy, windy, not very nice day today. We woke up early, before the clock had made it as far as 5. It’s all too much like summer and it isn’t even November. I suppose if we were so inclined we could look forward to Halloween tomorrow evening but it was never a thing when we were growing up.

I think just about the only memory I have of this time of year and its supernatural connotations was from Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Mussorgsky’s “The Night on the Bald Mountain” was featured. I loved the spooky music and the vision of Satan unfolding his wings for that one night of the year.

As with so many Christian festivals, Halloween has its roots in Celtic traditions. It’s based on Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-in’), which was a time to recognise the end of summer and the start of the dark days after the final harvest. It’s no coincidence that all the Christian festivals coincide quite closely with the seasons of the sun – Christmas at the winter solstice, Easter at the spring equinox, and Halloween the autumn equinox.

In America it’s a big deal, with its trick or treating, witches and ghouls and pumpkins. Here in Australia it has only become a ‘thing’ in the last fifteen or twenty years, and only because the retailers recognised an opportunity. Here, the end of October is a portent for the start of summer (see para 1). I enjoy the stories of Halloweens past, told by my American friends, when costumes were hand-made, trick or treating was done in your own neighbourhood, and people made home-made goodies for the kids, very different to super hero costumes bought from Walmart, kids carrying buckets to collect a haul of purchased candy bars and the like, and trick-or-treaters being ferried to the richer suburbs to pick up better bounty.

Sorry, but I remain a curmudgeon about the whole thing. Nobody need knock on our door on Sunday evening.

One thing that has happened – and I don’t know if it’s because of Halloween – but the lorikeets are back. So, here are a few of my favourite lorikeet photos. They’re sure to cheer up even the most curmudgeonly curmudgeon.

Quick! Everybody scarper!
A baby lorikeet. Note the detail
Lorikeets are most often in pairs and grooming is important.

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