The sun came peeking up over the hills to the east today at the incredibly lazy hour of 7:20. I know that this is the way it is this time of year, still, it never stops amazing me. It is, today, another gorgeous autumn day. And, of course, today is Halloween, so the air is charged with the excitement around costumes and candy. How great that it has fallen on a Friday and all the little kiddos won't have to go to school with a sugar hangover tomorrow.
As hard as it can be for me to transition to the colder, darker days, I really do love this time of year. I love when the trees lose their foliage, leaving their skeletal remains and the sense that they are quietly preparing for the winter days ahead. I love how the world seems to become more peaceful as people stay indoors and the scent of woodsmoke fills the night air. Somehow the stars seem brighter in the night sky, and, around here, anticipation is growing for the first snow and the start of ski season. It's all really lovely.
My seminary studies this fall have taken my head and heart to some interesting places. I'm particularly enamored of the content of my History of Christian Spirituality Through the Lives of Women class. In reading about female martyrs and mystics and saints -- traveling back into the 14th century -- a whole new world of stories has arrived for me. I have no idea where any of this: studies, chaplaincy, ordination will lead, and it no longer matters. I'm learning to simply enjoy the ride and to trust that the river of God is taking me where I am needed. Like the trees losing their leaves, trusting that all will be as it should.
Tomorrow, November 1, is, in Christian tradition, All Hallows' or All Saints' Day, followed by All Souls' Day on November 2, which makes today All Hallows' Eve. This is a liminal time, when the veil is thin between life and death and "spirits can more easily come into our world." For some, this is a lot of hookum, but I absolutely love this idea. I have seen a lot of death in the last six months and I welcome the presence of those who have left us. I trust that the many beautiful beings who once graced this land in corporeal form have not gone too far.
Summer has ended, the harvest season has come to a close and winter is moving in. What a perfect way to make the transition: with costumes and humor, apple pie and bonfires. I cannot think of a better way to prepare for the quiet of the snow-covered world than to draw close to those we have loved who have died, to ponder and to celebrate death and life, history, tradition and transition.
Blessings today and tonight and tomorrow and tomorrow.