Now the falling of the leaves, now the short'ning day:

for Summer is a-going out, and Winter's on the way.

 

I've been to lots of Harvest Suppers down the years, but I can't think of another that ended with a spontaneous (and heartfelt) invocation of Old Witch Winter.

Usually, we're hoping to stave Her off for as long as possible. This year, we can't wait.

It's been a long, dark Summer here in Minneapolis since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day.

First came the opportunistic looting and arson that stalked the initial protests.

Then came the dithering of our gormless City Council, whose major strategy for bringing about systemic change seems to consist of waiting for someone else to come up with an idea.

Then came record levels of shootings, carjackings, and break-ins, while the authorities wring their hands, and do nothing.

So I guess it isn't surprising that after the feast's closing song, we should suddenly all rise to our feet and start shouting—shouting—to Old Witch Winter to come and put an end to it all. Shut it off! Close it down! Summer be gone; Winter, come!

As you know, spontaneous magic is always the most powerful of all.

Well, that's the thing about Old Witch Winter: invited or not, She always comes.

Let the snows pile, let the winds shriek. Let us all hole up for months on end, and snuggle down in our dens, finally to get some long-needed, and well-deserved, rest.

Gods all know, we've earned it.