Interlude: All Hallows 2017

Interlude-All Hallows 2017

The Harvest Moon
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 – 1882

It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes

Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!

All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;

The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

***************

It is that special time of the year when the pause between Autumn and Winter occurs.  The three days of Halloween (All Hallows Eve), All Saints Day and All Souls Day that take place from October 31st through November 2nd are filled with a special atmosphere for those who partake in the festivities and solemnities of the three days.

My late Mom and I used this time to combine the various elements into a personal time for seclusion, reflection on mortality and consideration of the life to come.  While Mom still lived with me, we would have an evening tea with cups of Darjeeling tea, tea biscuits filled with raisins and citrons by the light of a carved pumpkin with a candle inside.  Earlier we’d given out the treat bags filled with pennies and packaged candies to the little costumed children who rang the doorbell.  The quiet after sunset and the candle light in the kitchen provided a sense of being between the worlds.

We shared memories of our beloved departed.  No photos or keepsakes were brought out, just our words and the events we remembered were shared.  The next day we attended mass together before I left for work.  We refrained from TV, radio, newspapers and small talk during these three days.  None of this is required by the holiday but we willingly undertook abstaining from engagement with the outside as a way to recall as vividly as possible those who have gone on before us to the Greater Life.

I invite you to join me in prayer or in spirit as the time comes, as it does every year, to consider the cycles of life and the seasons of the year beyond what we see and delve into the deeper meanings behind it all.

–EmilyAnn Frances May
All Hallows 2017

 

———————————-

Poem is in the public domain.
Courtesy Poets.org
https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/harvest-moon
“Harvest Moon”
Photo-Public Domain
by C.E. Price
Wikimedia Commons
http://tinyurl.com/yabagdyz
Advertisements

38c-Happy All Hallowstide

halloween-1

Wishing all who celebrate these Holy Days a blessed All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

halloween-3

All Hallows Eve is a night celebrated by Trick or Treating and telling ghost stories.  The deeper meaning is found in the approach of Winter, the season of cold, stark landscapes where nothing grows.  It is a time poised between the end of the season of growth and the season of rest.  It serve s as a reminder of the growth and decline that precedes the renewal of Spring.

Autumn is shading into Winter as the days continue to grow shorter.  The chill outside drives us indoors.  Flowers no longer bloom, trees become more bare as the days go by.  The bounty of summer has been harvested and preparations for sustenance during the winter months continue.  There is a lull that calls us to think about the cycle of growth that has passed in the current year.  During this time it is good to part company with laptops, cell phones, tablets and find company in the memories of loved ones who no longer live with us in this world.

I have found that this time dedicated to the beloved departed has a powerful effect upon renewing our memories of those who have taught us, loved us and inspired us.  Although they are physically gone, we revive their good examples within our hearts and minds.  In a way we are renewed.  The influence of our loved ones can once more be felt in the world as we do our best in memory of them.

–EmiyAnn Frances May
–October 30, 2016


Resources

The illustrations used here come from My Book House, edited by Olive Beaupre Miller.