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Backwards and Forwards

I had a very odd, but very wonderful, weekend at the beginning of the month. It involved revisiting a lot of old memories, prompted through a combination of conversation, physical ‘stuff’ and environment. I couldn’t tell you which was the most poignant – being in a setting and a place that is at once strange and familiar, revisiting recollections of special people and circumstances or rifling through the memorabilia of, well, my life (certainly academically).

I’m a little baffled by those who so easily walk away from the detritus and accumulation of the past, but more wondering than critical or envious. Objectively, I would be the first to advocate that you don’t need ‘stuff’ to inspire a connection, to re-visit, re-live or re-experience a point or place in time. And yet personally, subjectively, I find the tactile experience of it undeniably compelling, and it takes considerably more effort to achieve the same evocation without ‘props’ (though from a certain point of view is all the more worthwhile for it). And it’s so easy to forget, little things, that the slightest prompt can once more release. At this time of year, on the cusp of Samhain, the ability to look to the past (my discernible roots, not a romanticised ancestral construct) has always helped to give me perspective, context and insight to inform my ideas and aspirations for the cycle to come. Anything that helps me do that – most especially family and friends, but also ‘stuff’ – is something I value highly and while it’s not healthy to live in the past, it’s nice to visit sometimes.

On Sunday, the clocks will go back and, just like magic, we get a second shot at the last (as in previous, not final!) hour of our lives. For a lot of people, it equates to nothing more or less than an extra hour in bed (and no shame in that, as far as I’m concerned). But in the approach to Samhain, the New Year of the neo-pagan calendar and ethereal passing place of what-has-been and what’s-to-come, it’s perhaps the perfect opportunity to take time back for yourself, wield it with purpose, put it to use – the thoughts, reflections, plans and priorities that never reach the surface during its normal hourly, daily, weekly passage.

What will you do with your magic hour?