Shards of Summer

on being terrified of what's to come
Autumn 2019. total words: 574

August 1st, Lughnasadh. The first harvest. The first feast. I laugh with the summer's heatwave that leaves the rain a distant dream. The first harvest of autumn's coming, the first harbinger of winter, the last night of true summer gracing my skin. So I shatter a window and collect the glass shards of the last sundown of summer. Before the leaves change colours, while I can still be myself. Before the fog rolls in, before my rainbow turns to gray and the bitter chill ahead. I peer into the looking glass shards, and the light I see may yet still hold a trace of the warmer months.
I bake the first fresh bread of the year as I celebrate the death of summer, the growing season, the mother of the gods I've long since lost my way home to. These looking-glass shards of my summer, my love, my reason, carried into the wasteland of winter, where holly rules and I am forever lost to wander in a torpid haze until the rebirth of the flowers.
Persephone descends into the Underworld and I descend into the fog. It clouds these stars I won't recognize until the early spring hunter returns for me, belt bright against the sky, reminding me the fog can still lift even if I cannot force it to. I shatter the window in hopes of carrying the looking-glass shards alongside me, let them be the keys to a temporary reality within the foggy fever-dream of winter. Like what the fog makes of me in the times ahead, I destroy what keeps me alive to take it with me ahead. I carry these looking-glass keys up onto the highway, their edge sharp enough to cut me through, and yet I still place my survival on their every fragment.
These looking-glass shards of summer cut into my hands at the blood is scarlet like the richest July apples. They have me locked into their embrace and burning with the addiction. These looking-glass shards of summer, my only way back home where the fog dissipates with the morning's sunrise. Oh, my reason, my love, my passion, why do you abandon me when September comes calling? What did I do to deserve this cyclic death, where I lose my reason and my passion every Lughnasadh night, not to reclaim it until the death of March? The leaves are changing and I cannot love this rainbow. It is the harbinger of the lethal chill and the death only winter offers me. This hopelessness I can't climb out of, not until I wake up without shivering, without shaking with what I know I've lost.
I'll bury the shards Ostara morning, in the gardens where they belong, where the blood I've let flow out of my hands while reaching for hope can nourish the flowers. Early Spring's morning when the King of Oak, of summer, of growth, blooms from the snow-cinders and finally calls me home. But that isn't soon, that's the other side of the chasm I know I'll fall into. Every year. Every year I fall, and every year I'm a little more scared I'll never climb out.
I grip these looking-glass shards of the window I broke in the sundown of the death of summer on Lughnasadh night and my hands bleed red. And for the last time this year, I breathe in the blood, and for now, this last sundown tonight, I still feel alive.