Saturday, October 28, 2023

All Hallows Within

Autumn is a time of change: moving from a season of growth and activity to a season of harvest and slowing down.  In many places, you can feel and see the change... in the crispness of the air, the colors of nature, fall sports, and the clothes people wear.  

Change... a time for reflection.

What have you harvested this season?
(Photo: Autumn Scene, Old Town San Diego
- Larry Gardepie)

In ancient Celtic times, people would dress up in costumes and dance around bonfires to ward off ghosts and evil spirits.  As the Christian faith spread, these pagan rituals were adapted into holy days of remembrance -- remembering those who have gone before us, the Saints and Souls of our Holy Ones. 

It was a reminder of "all hallows": seeing and celebrating goodness; a reminder that all people have Sacred Worth and Value.

How do you celebrate your goodness?
(Photo: Halloween Decorations, Encinitas, California - Larry Gardepie)

But I have to admit, it is sometimes difficult to see the goodness in others!  Our news, movies, TV programs, and stories are built around those ghosts and evil spirits that also inhabit us -- the Good-and-Evil, Win-or-Lose struggle that we encounter every day.  It's as if we have to point to someone else for creating the mess we find ourselves experiencing:  "The Other" who hurt us and continues to cause us pain.

I wonder:  could we use this seasonal transition to reflect on the Sacred-that-We-Encounter -- even in those people who may have wronged us?

Can you build an Altar of Hope?
(Photo: Día de los Muertos altar, Old Town San Diego - Larry Gardepie)

One way of celebrating All Hallows is through
Día de los Muertos altars.  Watching people build their family's altar, I have noticed the reverence and respect accorded deceased members.  Yes, death is present, but the focus is on the goodness of the ancestors who gave life and hope to current family members.  It's a celebration of life and the sacrifices made for one another.

Who would you honor in your altar?  What stories of goodness would you share?  How would you experience the Sacred in your midst?

I wonder:  is it time to build an Altar of Hope?

All Hallows to you!

Larry Gardepie

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