November 2, 2010

All Souls Day

Today I am taking some time to remember
 all those souls I have known
who have moved on from this mixed bag of beauty and sorrow: 
Lea, Peter, Nana and Grandad, Granny and Grampa,
 Grampa Warren, Great-Grandad Matthew, Nana Brown,
and schoolmates 
Pat, Laurel, and Jason
For whom we now Pray.

Also those souls I did not know but think of nonetheless: 
my brother Michael who was born and died long before I came along,
(Would I be here had he lived?)
various ancestors whose DNA I share with my children
 and authors and artists who filled the treasure chest of thought and vision
I look to for inspiration and comfort -
'We read to know we are not alone,' says C.S. Lewis' student in Shadowlands

And then there are those with no one to remember them
in November we look upon the trees
singing their swan song in ruby red dress
Spirits waving in the fields
seem to say 'Vanity, vanity, all is vanity,' 
'Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die' 
My heart reaches out to lift them up and set them free
to the place where I hope to go
someday long from now
if only someone will remember me

This beautiful photograph is by Ciara of Milkmoon (see my sidebar to access her wonderful blog).  She picked my name out of a hat (lucky me!) and I got to choose a favourite photo from her vast catalogue.  I chose the one above and am looking forward to finding the print of it in my mailbox.  It was this photo which inspired me to write this little bit of a poem today. 


  1. Lucky you on the picture! Enjoyed your blog today. As always thank you for sharing your very interesting thoughts. Hope all is well in beautiful Agassiz! Veronica

  2. Lovely post once again Rebecca.

    And what a stunning photo.......

    lucky you!

  3. Lovely shot of Ciara's.

    And lovely sentiments of yours.

  4. Veronica: Hey! Nice to see you here. Hope all is well in Edmonchuck :)

    Alistair: I am lucky aren't I? And thanks.

    Vince: Do you know where it was taken? I believe it is somewhere in Ireland.

  5. I suspect the east pier at Dun Laoire.

  6. Wonderful thoughts/poem and photograph!!!

    We are influenced so easily aren't we? It doesn't even have to be someone who has played a HUGE role in our lives...sometimes it is someone we never even met...SO INTERESTING.

  7. 'We read to know we are not alone,... I like that quote very much. You also chose a wonderful photograph, perfect for remembering loved ones.

  8. I love your thoughts on remembering those you loved who have gone and then onto your family and ancestors whom you never knew but are also a part of you, and then beyond to so many who touch your life. Beautiful. And thank you for sharing the photo from Ciara -- I was just at Milkmoon and wondering about which one you chose. It's perfectly lovely and perfect for your poem.

  9. I love your choice. You lucky girl.

    What lovely thoughts. I am particularly touched about your remembrance for your brother, Michael. Very sweet indeed.

  10. Vince: I suppose I will now have to consult a map.
    Jill: The poem is kind of a tribute to everyone who is a part of who I am as well as an attempt to show how we are all connected in the human family. Thanks for your thoughts!

    Paul: I remember when I first heard that quote. I was quite affected by it and I'm glad I got a chance to use it.

    DFG: Thanks for your very kind thoughts, and I'm glad you like the photo. It was very hard to choose!

    Tracey: I have always thought very tenderly toward the brother I never knew. He was born when my eldest sister was one or two and died a day later. My mother has a blanket with all our names embroidered on it and the date of our baptisms. His is on there too. I used to look at that blanket, which was pulled out every time a new grandchild was born and would see his name and wonder what he'd be like today.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!