There is something unmistakably beautiful and bittersweet about the gradual decline of a year. In this part of the world, we enjoyed summer weather right up until Thanksgiving (the second Monday of October), and then, just like that, the north wind carried a cooler, damper message, and fall began. The trees, their leaves almost dried to a crisp from the seemingly endless stretch of brilliant sunny days, seemed to rust overnight and exclaim, "Wait a minute? Weren't we just yesterday young and green?"
Our fall colour is at its peak right now, and is often glossy with the rain. Bands of low cloud stretch across the mountainsides and the grass/moss mixture that is our lawn is littered with damp, brown leaves. The ruby red Japanese maples around our town are nature's crowning achievement this year before she lets the winter winds have their way, shedding her old coat until spring.
|An interesting new fence separates this house's trees |
from the empty lot next door
|Ginko trees turn a sunny yellow in the town|
Today is All Souls Day, a day to remember those who have gone before us, those who have shed the old and heavy coat of this life on earth. Two years ago I was inspired by the glory of the fall colour to write a poem about All Souls Day. I re-posted it last year and today, I will share it again. It still resonates with me. Perhaps when you read it, you will insert the names of your own loved ones and those who have inspired you and are no longer with us.
Today I am taking some time to remember
all those souls I have known
who have moved on from this mixed bag of beauty and sorrow:
Lea, Peter, Nana and Grandad, Granny and Grampa,
Grampa Warren, Great-Grandad Matthew, Nana Brown,
Pat, Laurel, Jason, and Rodi
For whom we now pray.
Also those souls I did not know but think of nonetheless:
my brother Michael who was born and died long before I came along,
(Would I be here had he lived?)
various ancestors whose DNA I share with my children
and authors and artists who filled the treasure chest of thought and vision
I look to for inspiration and comfort -
'We read to know we are not alone,' says C.S. Lewis' student in Shadowlands.
And then there are those with no one to remember them
in November we look upon the trees
singing their swan song in ruby red dress
Spirits waving in the fields
seem to say 'Vanity, vanity, all is vanity,'
'Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die'
My heart reaches out to lift them up and set them free
to the place where I hope to go
someday long from now