Today is the Fort Tryon Medieval Festival, which, as I was just saying to my new office-mate, I try to go to every year and every year, after about fifteen minutes, I start wondering why I bothered going.
Sometimes I get caught up in the rituals, in the traditions, of my life, and this is one of those traditions. (As evidenced, in fact, by my very first blog post here on the Darker Mind, five years ago today.)
Today, you see, is the Fort Tryon Medieval Festival and I am at work in my basement library instead of wandering amongst the knights and their ladies and the leather crowd and kids with face paint and over-priced pickle vendors and the never-ending lines at the too-few food carts and the kitsch and not-nearly-funny-enough jesters and incongruous belly dancers and sellers of cheap swords.
I know the Festival is ridiculous but it's also a rite of passage, a rite of seasons: something that unfailingly drives home the fact that another year is beginning to approach its end.
Evan and Nathan and I have been hashing out Christmas and New Year's Eve plans, or at least beginning to contemplate the hashing out of such plans, but only today does the encroaching cold seem real, marked out by the inevitableness of the Festival even if I can't be there.
It is a perfect day today, crisp and hard-edged and blue-skied, clouds so high and bright there can be no threat of rain. I don't remember a rainy Festival day -- it is always as it is today, which seems particularly strange after last week's torrential rains and tornado winds.
It's been a strange five years, heartbreaking and beautiful and full to the brim with love and for this, despite the oncoming winter, I am grateful.