Director of Faith Development's Messages
Boo! I invite you to consider the power of that word…..our range of responses might include a smile.... to palpable fear. This is the time of year when we collectively re-visit an examination of “boo”….what scares us.
As leaves release their final color and float to the ground, we notice that we are in the season of remembrance….of loved ones, of warmer weather, and the abundance that surrounds us. I love Halloween because of the rituals that dependably emerge. Imaginations fly, doors are opened, fears are challenged. Halloween, along with rituals of many cultures (All Saints’ Day, El Día de los Muertes, Samhain, and more) invites communities into a spirit of commemoration and celebration.
How do you intentionally move closer to the veil between life and death in order to remember what has given your life, all life, meaning? If there are children in your periphery, how do you mindfully include music, candlelight, darkness, story, and silence to guide them to invoke the memory and livelihood of loved ones who have passed on… how we remember our losses with love and anticipate new life, with hope?
While my own children – now young adults – are not within my immediate view, I still plan to sit and wait for my doorbell to ring on October 31st. This plan is rich with anticipation and excitement! My childhood memory of this holiday returns with full force, color, texture, feel. I carry with me the thesis that children teach us so much – that we should never be too busy to have fun, that we should always be close enough to be able to reach out and hold a hand (just in case things get scary), and that when reverence is in our midst…we are awed and possibly powerfully calmed by the sacred silence.
What is your whispered response to the question, “what scares you?” When we can embrace the sacred resources of being in faith community together, we might be brave enough to begin to answer this. When the light returns again, we can be reassured. When the next day comes, we can be clearer in what brings us peace, often despite all odds.
In the steady, sometimes breathless, pace of our lives, we are deeply warmed by the gifts of rituals. Let us re/claim them in a way that has meaning for each of us and all of us.