A Highwayman, A Salmon Jacuzzi, And Samhain

                       “The Stolen Child” by W.B. Yeats, 
                               music by The Waterboys

I spent part of this morning with a group of lovely people, guided by a singing highwayman from the 18th century (Singing Historical Walking Tours in Cong, highly recommended!). We saw ancient ruins, a forest, abbey grounds with huge yew trees, and a clever salmon who used the little whirlpool-like current near the foot of a bridge as his personal jacuzzi.

When I chatted to our tour guide afterwards, I asked him where to get the best sandwiches in Cong and went to the little cafe he recommended. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven, the food was that good! All of this happened in the brightest sunshine, which was like a miracle after all the horrible weather we’ve had this year. Samhain couldn’t have started out any better.

Along the way, I also picked up a recommendation of the “CongRegation” which I’m most definitely going to attend this year! It looks fascinating, like no other gathering I’ve ever been to. Sounds like the perfect place to exchange ideas with openminded people.

And it’s Samhain! Remember, if you will, to look beyond the commercial aspect of buying costumes, decorations, sweets, and make-up, to the roots of this ancient celebration. It’s the night when the veil between the worlds becomes thin and the perfect occasion to commune with your ancestors.

Folk used to believe that the fairies would steal children around Samhain, which is why they dressed up their kids in scary costumes, so the fairies would think they were soulless fairy children and not human, and leave them alone.

                    Come away, oh human child, 
                    to the waters and the wild, 
                    with a faerie hand in hand, 
                    for the world’s more full of weeping 
                    than you can understand.

I love the Waterboys’ version of it, and it’s one of my favourite poems. I was reminded of it today when we saw a heron on our walking tour (…“where flapping herons wake the drowsy water-rats”). What a great song for Samhain.

I’m all ready – the house is reasonably clean, a bowl of mini chocolates is sitting on the side table by the door for trick-or-treaters, there’s plenty of briquettes next to the fireplace, and I’m all stocked on good, natural foods, including the traditional Samhain apples.

Have a beautiful, blessed Samhain!

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