journey into the darkness of the countryside, where the sky was lit only by stars.
The scent of turf smoke and frost was in the air as I left the warmth of the hearth and travelled
down the small country roads hereabouts. All was silence with the headlights illuminating dark hedgerows and occasional wisps of grey mist in the hollows.
I passed through villages adorned with lit pumpkins, plastic skeletons and windows decorated
for Hallowe'en. Once or twice there was a glimpse of small witches, ghouls and vampires moving from house to house looking to trick or treat.
It was just as I had expected it to be until we finally came to a village with no decorations.
None at all.
Not a pumpkin, a ghost or a skull anywhere.
In fact there were only one or two lights on behind the curtained windows giving the impression
that almost everyone was asleep in their beds.
My first thought was how sad it appeared.
It seemed that in this place the children and adults did not take part in the celebration of Hallowe'en
and I felt sorry for them missing out on the fun and colour we'd seen elsewhere.
As I slowly approached the last houses however I could see an orange glow in the distance.
On the outskirts, at a deserted cross roads, I discovered this bonfire.
|Samhain bonfire © Jane Brideson.|
continue burning late into the night.
I stood as close as the heat would allow hearing the crackle of the fire whilst I watched pictures form in the smoke and the dancing flames.
and marked Samhain as a community in the old way.
Returning home I realised that I had stumbled upon a continuation of an ancient Samhain tradition which has taken place on this island for thousands of years.
It was truly a magical experience.
As we approach the darkest time of the year I wish you food, rest, warmth and
the blessings of your ancestors.