Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Saints' Day

I got to the train late this morning, after dealing with my three dear dogs and their various medicinal needs. I hate being late, so I arrived winded and annoyed on the elevated platform, having just missed a commuter train, and plopped down on a bench. The neighborhood trees, dressed in the remnants of their fall colors, were right at my eye level, shades of dusty red and dull gold. A fine morning mist overlay them all. As I watched, however, the morning sun broke through, and the colors, which had been sullen before, suddenly burst into flame. Even the tattered leaves about to fall were shining like the sun.

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." We forget this at our peril. It's so easy for me to get caught up in the rat race, and in so doing, become my own personal rat, in my own little spinning wheel. People are not meant to live like this, and I must resolve to make more effort not to. More easily said than done, of course.

Tonight, at our All Saints' service, we will slow down for a time, and remember. The names of all our loved ones who have gone before us will be solemnly read out while candles are lighted. As a child, my favorite holiday (next to Christmas, of course, because of the presents!) was Halloween. As soon as school resumed in the fall, we started to draw pumpkins on orange construction paper, and to cut out colored leaves to put on the classroom window. All Saints' Day was not on my radar then. As an adult, however, I've discovered it to be one of my favorite days, and this service to be one of the best we do all year. In the spirit of Samhain (the Celtic precursor of Halloween, on which night the veil between this world and the next was said to be very thin), the saints will seem especially close tonight.

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