The last of the leaves have vanished from the Otherworld trees, and the first of the icicles have appeared. The sparse silhouette of bare branches without colour and adornment will probably seem barren compared to the spew of colours and sparkles and gaudy glitter adorning other windows at this time of year but there is just enough light to hold the darkness at bay, and there is beauty in stark simplicity.
I’ve had a great many beginnings and endings of late – of course much of the time one automatically follows from the other. It’s probably my temperament (or maybe I’m just getting old-minded!) but even in the best of circumstances I find there’s always a melancholy, a sense of what has slipped away that tinges my mood. On the one hand it would be easy to dismiss it as frivolity – certainly in the case of the leaves, they’ll be back next year after all. And it definitely doesn’t do to let such feelings take over, to lose sight of the new beginning by focusing too much on what has passed (although often this is easier said than done, particularly if the change wasn’t of your own choosing or making).
But I think there is also often a great deal too much impetus on ‘what’s next’ as well (for instance, I’m assuming mainstream shops will have their Easter eggs in from next week) rather than acknowledging and accepting the past – or even the present for that matter. A beginning that follows from an ending is part of a journey, and failing to acknowledge that could mean missing a vital lesson – how you get there can be just as important as where you end up. I think it can be especially true on a magical path, particularly when you stumble on something fresh and exciting. The temptation can be to reinvent yourself, renouncing all former ties in favour of the shiny new path you’re travelling, forgetting it was the original course that got you there in the first place.
And, while it’s sensible to put away the things you no longer need, and to move on from them, it doesn’t mean you have to denounce or dismiss them entirely. Learning and growing from them can turn even the most bittersweet of finalities into a happy ending.