Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Snowfall, Dumb Supper, & Cloaks!

I was outside in the middle of morning rounds, walking somewhere between the barn and the sheep paddock when something got stuck in my eye. It took a second to realize it, but I wasn't seeing smudges o y was snowing! What started as a misty rain and rolling fog turned into a proper snowfall and right now the farmhouse and fields are being coated with their first kiss of winter. Somewhat fitting it's happening this close to tomorrow. As you guys know, the oldest word for what we call Halloween is Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) and it literally translates from the old Gaelic to "Summers End". I'd say a snow fall constitutes as such.

Tomorrow is the big day and I'm hosting Dumb Supper here with friends. It's an old tradition for those of us who take Samhain seriously. You invite over friends and family for a silent meal, potluck style. Everyone brings a dish but the catch is everyone brings their own meal, something that reminds them of someone they lost. We sit down to eat in silence, just some music playing and candles burning bright. It's kind of like a "moment of silence" done in respect, but lasts a whole meal. A place is set at the table for our memories, with a bit of everyone's food set on it. When all the meal is done we get out the instruments, drinks, and share in the meal and tell happy stories (or sad ones,if you wish) about those we loved and lost. Sometimes it's stories of people who passed away, others lost through things like divorce, entropy, mistakes, or distance. It's a relief, honestly. The whole night lets you remember, mourn, talk in a safe environment. It also helps you understand you are still among the living, and that in itself is a reason to celebrate! And we will. At least eight of us will fill the farmhouse tomorrow night and share a meal together by the woodstove.

Unrelated: I sold two cloaks yesterday and ordered the supplies to make them! I hope to sell a few more. They cost $125 (includes US shipping) and I hope to have the first round mailed by December 1, if not sooner. I make them first paid, first served, and so far I have everything I need to get out the needle and thread. I'm so touched that somewhere else out there in their own snows, wind, and rain readers will be pulling the same heavy cloaks around them as I am, staying warm. I custom-sewed special pockets inside my cloak and anyone who orders one should do the same.I'll include extra cloth for just such a reason. Sew in a pocket for your phone, your music player (be it ipod or tin whistle), wallet, folding knife, or perhaps a "weather pocket" made of waxxed cotton for matches, teabags, or tinder. A proper cloak is a house on your shoulders. It's a tent, a sleeping bag, wind-blocker, horse blanket, food storage, and more. It's all the rage, too, if you go by my inbox.