I always seem to greet Samhain with a great burst of energy. Everyone else has that at Beltane - and, to be fair, I do too - but there are precedents here.
I've tended to meet people who've changed my life, or seen things, or gone places which have turned out to be highly significant later. Perhaps it's all psychological, but I do look forward to Samhain in gleeful anticipation. I don't know what might be awaiting me!
One of the best Samhain festivals I ever experienced came about by accident. A friend and I were visiting the Black Mountains, which is probably my favorite place on Earth. Ritual performed, we drove down the other side and nipped into Hay-on-Wye for a drink.
There were people everywhere! Such crowds that stopping was hardly an option. They were all walking in the same direction so, intrigued, my friend and I walked with them. The queue - several bodies abreast - snaked in a great stream across two fields. Then we breasted a toll-gate and finally gained an inkling of what was ahead.
It was a fire festival, the like of which I've never seen before or since. Fire jugglers aplenty, but there were also trained professionals hula-hooping with flames licking their waists. There was fire art! Huge frameworks set alight, which only revealed their images as the flames whipped around them.
Fireworks and a bonfire came as standard, but this display was mesmerizing. Every Samhain I think of it; and I want to go back.
I like to be out and about at Samhain. I always leave it to the last minute to work out where. Last year, it was spent on a beach in Prestatyn. That wasn't planned either.
As for its place in the whole scheme of things, Samhain for me stands alone. I've done all of my planning, working and harvesting. By Yule, I'll be lost in contemplation. For now, I just want to live in the present. I've done all that I can. The future belongs to itself.
Right now, it's all about compassion for myself; not feeding the anxiety of the season with extra stress; and partying until it's time to sit back down again.
Happy new year.