The Year Winding Down

As October begins, we say, not long now. The weeks leading up to All Saints All Souls or Halloween in the vernacular, go all too quickly and feel bittersweet as we watch time rushing upon us. Because with All Saints All Souls, we’ve entered the end of the church calendar and it’s a short, swift ride to Thanksgiving and Advent and Christmas.

The widow where I sit and write has an old and bountiful oak tree out front. Although oak leaves turn and drop late, the tree out front, this eleventh day of November and only a short walk from All Saints All Souls, is golden turning to bronze with only a few scattered green leaves here and there, clinging to summer.

The year is ending.

We know intellectually that from the time we are born, we are dying. For some it comes at two hours or two days or two years or fifteen, twenty, forty, fifty, ninety. But whenever it comes, it comes too fast. We are rarely ready. It comes as quickly as the leaves we see falling from trees and the changes in light and sky.

Every ending is a new beginning, we know that too. And we have different stories to tell on what happens when the ending comes. It’s easy to understand the changing of the seasons: we know winter follows fall and spring follows winter. We know the changing of the seasons and what comes next.

With human life, it’s not that easy and we tell ourselves stories of what’s next. But we don’t know. Not really.

On Saturday, I presided at a memorial service for the brother of my friend. It was an important occasion for many and many told stories about their friend who died. They were thankful to have the time to remember and be together. And I said some of what I’ve written here. I said it again in church the next morning when I presided at mass. We simply don’t know. But we remember. While we are alive, we remember and tell stories.

Yesterday, I asked the community how they wanted to be recalled, what stories they wanted to be told about them. It’s worth considering for all of us regardless of our beliefs or our spiritual practice. What do you want others to say about you? How do you want to be remembered?

Then live that now.

Below is a post from another blogger. You might enjoy it. She gives suggestions for giving thanks all through November. Maybe that’s how we’d all like to be remembered: giving thanks.

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