November 2 is set aside as All Soul's Day.
Yesterday, November 1 wuz All Saints Day, an fer Mexicans Dia de Los Muertos. (check out Boxer's cool post an' Moi's homage to Dia de los Muertos.)
Fall is the perfect, intuitive season to recall our dead family and friends. Nature is physically slowing down, going dormant....an' we speak of the Autumn of Life for ourselves--a time to reflect on all that we's experienced during our sojourn on this lovely orb.
Seems healthy to me to address issues of death an loss squarely. I'se still grievin' fer Granny Cracker--an each of ya' have losses that still are tender, too. Yet, these days--days of saints an' souls--are offered as times of happy recollections, even gratitude fer all the interestin' souls that preceded us.
In his classic book, Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, William James defined saints:
" The saints, with their extravagance of human tenderness, are the great torchbearers of this belief [the sacredness of every individual], the tip of the wedge, the clearers of the darkness. Like the single drops which sparkle in the sun they are flung far ahead of the advancing edge of a wave-crest or of a flood, they show the way and are forerunners. The world is not yet with them, so they often seem in the midst of the world’s affairs to be preposterous. Yet they are impregnators of the world, vivifiers and animators of potentialities of goodness which but for them would lie forever dormant. It is not possible to be quite as mean as we naturally are, when they have passed before us. One fire kindles another; and without that overtrust in human worth which they show, the rest of us would lie in spiritual stagnancy. "
Sometimes "extravagant human tenderness" an "clearers of darkness" feels like Mission Impossible. But mebbe if I am extravagant in tenderness to jes' one person, clear some dark fer one other soul....it's a start. A little sparkle sprinkled heah an' theah cain't hurt, can it?