The night of Halloween used to be the most feared evening of the year. It was believed by the Druids in Britain and Brittany, France, that on this night, Samhain, the Lord of Death, allowed the spirits of those who have died within the last 12 months to roam the earth. In order to fend off the evil spirits, the Druids would light huge bonfires on hilltops. This tradition of lighting bonfires has since evolved into carving pumpkins and putting candles inside of them. Nonetheless, may we all honor those souls that have gone before us on this special day.
When I think of the whole notion of “those souls that have gone before us”, it seems like a sort of oxymoron to me. Where can a soul go? “There is nowhere to go and there is nothing to do”. Maybe the right term to use would be “those bodies that have gone before us”. The souls, or Soul, is always here, in “eternal time and space”.
I love this idea of having nothing to do and nowhere to go. It provides a welcome relief from the feeling of never doing enough. It reminds me of the feeling I would get when I was younger, looking at pictures of our planet, surrounded by other planets and stars, and a whole lotta space. It would make me feel so small. Maybe some people don’t like feeling small, but I always have. Looking at Earth put things in perspective for me when I was younger. All of a sudden, things that were bothering me didn’t seem like such a big deal. I mean, there I was, on this tiny planet in the middle of who knows where, worrying about not having skinny enough legs. I would call it the “zoom out”. Take your position on this planet, and zoom out to the Milky Way (and that is just the beginning). Are you still worried about the fact that those jeans that have been sitting in your closet for 5 years still don’t fit? If you are, zoom out further. It is a never-ending zoom-out. I always picture some other being on another planet worrying about the same thing I am. When I do that, it all just seems kind of silly.
Here we are, on this day, honoring the spirits. While we honor these spirits, may we honor the Spirit as well. That is, the eternal Spirit. The Spirit within us all. Because essentially, in honoring those spirits, we are really honoring ourselves, as we are all of these spirits, and they are us. And in knowing that, we honor the Spirit. So as you do whatever you are doing tonight, may that pumpkin sitting in the corner of the room remind you of the bonfire on the hilltop. May the bonfire remind you of the spirits. And may the spirits remind you of the eternal Spirit. So lets just skip some of those steps.
Tonight, let the pumpkins remind you of the eternal Spirit that we all are.