Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Constellations of Remembrance and Joy

Once again, we are reveling in the fall, the autumn, the most deeply felt season.

We began it by giving thanks for all that we have harvested this year. While for some of us, that may be crops or gardens that we grew that gave us wonderful gifts of flowers, herbs and vegetables, for others it may have been the gift of new friends, new loves, new jobs, a new place to live, the recovery of health, and new opportunities.

We are surrounded by the magic of seasonal change as we observe the leaves turning color, and those that don't have much color going from green to brown, trees being stripped of their foliage by the wind to reveal their bones, their skeletons, their stark outline against the sky.

Our journey continued as we honored those we knew who crossed the veil this year, savoring the powerful holidays of the Celtic Samhain (Halloween) and Dia de los Muertos (the Mexican Day of the Dead). These are always moving celebrations, as they should be. We celebrate birthdays, and we celebrate the end of our  days by remembering those who have moved on to the next plane of existence, who were once an active and influential part of our life.

When we come to the civic holiday of Thanksgiving, it is really an extension of the celebration of gratitude we begin at the Autumn Equinox, which arrives tomorrow, along with a full moon. Both the seasonal holiday and the civic holiday are part of the same spiritual tide, that of remembrance and acknowledgement. This is still one of my favorite days precisely because of its simplicity. On this day, forget multi-tasking. It is time to acknowledge people who have been important in our life and are still alive. Simply enjoy a good meal and conversation with family and friends. Share some laughs, take a walk, relax.

By the time of Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, we have moved past our mourning, our remembrance, humility and gratitude, and now we are in full blown celebration with many gatherings of friends, family, festive music, special foods and drinks, joking, storytelling, music and dance. And we celebrate the return of the light, the Sun, heralding the new year, the return of hope, the triumph of joy. We bring light into our homes in many ways. We light candles, fireplaces, smell seasonal foods cooking and light up the place with music and laughter.

There is no constellation of special days of this magnitude anywhere else in our year. As we journey through it, let us be conscious of the ceremonies of thanks for the year past and omens of the planting the seeds of power for the year ahead.

The portrait of our human journey is now painted in saturated colors, and we are privileged to walk once more through this living gallery where the most fantastic images come to life, and we realize that they are us. We are both radiantly alive, sensitive and sensuous, rich with feelings, wisdom and whispered intimations of destiny. We are now in the sacred space where we look both forward, backward and become more centered in our present.

Greetings to autumn and the onset of winter! Light the fires to welcome them, and ourselves, home.

No comments: