Monday, November 1, 2021

Triduum and the Hinge Moments of Autumn

It is November 1, and I am sad to see October go.  I think of October as one of my favorite months, and it is, but it can also be a difficult month for me for all sorts of reasons that revolve around weather (hot, humid, why isn't it cool yet?) and memories.  

It feels like a sort of hinge moment, and the season of autumn is full of them.  Nov. 1 means that my favorite season, the one that I define as Sept. 15-Dec. 25, is well underway, and soon I will have the larger regret of all of my favorite season being in the rear view mirror.  Pre-emptive grieving--that's me, through and through.

We had some trick-or-treaters come by at 3:00 on Saturday, and then we ate a lot of the Halloween candy.  Yesterday, I went to get more candy.  We rarely get more than 1-5 trick-or-treaters, but I always buy candy as if it's 1975 in the suburbs, and we will get hordes of children.  So, of course, yesterday we got no trick-or-treaters.

I felt a bit of sadness last night--surely it was about more than our lack of trick-or-treaters.  This morning, the sadness lingers.  Will I be less sad about Halloween being over if I think about All Saints and All Souls? If I think about a triduum of days, instead of just one? If I think about the ancestors and the more recently gone and what haunts us all?

I am thinking of this terrific post where James Lumsden talks about the practice of a memory box, as a way to reconnect with one's ancestors and loved ones.  It can become an "All Hallows altar of personal icons."  And the good news is, it's not too late.

This article by Christine Valters Paintner reminds us that we are entering into an entire season of reconnecting with a deeper wisdom:  "As the earth prepares to enter winter, she sheds what she no longer needs and moves inward. We live in a world illuminated by artificial light and so we often forget the wisdom to be gained from being in darkness. With the busyness of our lives, we resist the call of winter to fallowness and to contemplate what mortality means for us."  She posits that this time can become a time of reconnection:  with the hopes and dreams of our ancestors and with our own hopes and dreams--and with a deeper sense of mystery and insight.

May all of our hinge moments swing us towards reconnection.

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