October 31st was the Gaelic New Year in Ireland and as I celebrated I let go of this past year’s pain and set my wishes for this next year’s progression. I cleared my mind and I felt a peace within and I know everything is going to be okay, my path will be whatever it’s meant to be.
Samhain means so much to me. It’s always been my favourite holiday, even in childhood. I never went trick-or-treating but that’s not what Samhain is about really, that’s a modern play on its meaning. It’s a New Year in Gaelic tradition and that’s what I know it as. It’s also the day my father passed away.
I made a traditional Irish dinner (brisket and cabbage w/bacon, potatoes, greens, mushrooms, steak pie, and pear custard pie) and as everyone sat down to dinner there was a silent reverence, a haunting respect for the places set around the table for the loved ones we’ve lost. This is the way of my people, we invite the dead to join us. They may be missing from our table, but they will never be missing from our hearts. My guests and I shared stories and laughter all evening in celebration. There were tears, there were toasts, there was love.
We joined in talking about all the changes good and bad we’ve experienced this past year and what we hope to accomplish this new year. I may not have many close friends but the few I do have mean the world to me. This has been one of the toughest years of my life and although I’m grateful for the learning experiences I’ve had, I feel like I’m very close to giving up. This Samhain was good for me, to set new goals, something to look forward to, I just need to focus on that.
I’d like to wish you all a great Gaelic New Year and remind you that Halloween isn’t all about costumes and candy. It’s a day to remember loved ones we’ve lost, it’s a day to commune with them, to let them know you’re still thinking about them.