The days are still warm but I can't help but notice they are getting shorter and I am starting to get an itch for hunting season.
There must be something deep in the genome about this time of year. Long before the DNR or even the concept of conservation fall was a time to remember the hunt and its goddess: Diana.
I live in a diverse household. I am an atheist. My wife follows an Anabaptist style of Christianity. The dogs are into Zen and the cat is a straight up Nihilst.
None of us are pagans in any meaningful sense of the word.
I, however, like the vast majority of other human beings can appreciate a good rhythm to the seasons of the year and think it is meaningful, or at least enjoyable, to commemorate them. So despite the furrowed brow of my wife, the dogs and I do a little something to mark the approach of the absolute best time of the year.
For the sake of household harmony there are no sacrifices or candles lit before idols and only the canines are allowed to dance naked before consuming some roadkill deer hoof that has been parked in the freezer.
We clean out the hunting gear, oil up any firearms that need it, repack the plastic tote which carries all the tracking and hunting supplies I might need for the dogs. I will set out my deer hunting clothes so the scent can naturalize before the September opener.
I have often thought of going vegetarian for the month between Diana's Day and the opening of the deer bow season. I recall some old timers telling me once how this was their tradition believing that carnivorous humans and herbivorous humans smell differently to approaching deer. Color me skeptical, either way, you smell like a human. Still, the discipline would be welcome and it would add to the suspense of the approaching opener.
Still, I wish I were enough of a romantic to be able to wax lyrical about Diana, chaste and fair but really, I just want to go huntin'.