All Hallows' Eve. All Saints' Day. All Souls' Day.
31 October to 2 November. The turning of the month, and, in the Celtic calendar, the turning of the year.
Three days, which is the acceptable length of time for death to turn into resurrection.
I understand the need for the December celebrations, for the marking of the return of the sun, and the pulling back from darkness into light. But I have watched the year die this month. Watched at the trees turned from a blaze-fire of red and gold into skeletons, dark against the sky. I have watched as the stalls at the Farmers' Market shade from deep greens and red tomatos into squash orange, and frost-apple red, and then empty. The progression will continue: to grey, to brown, to frozen white.
The year dies, and these days that we hallow and make scared, they mark that. We remember what is gone, and who is lost. We think about what it means that one day, we too will be marked on the feast of All Souls.
Life is change, and the wheel is turning, and with it turns the year. May your memories be merciful, and your ghosts be kind.