November 2, 2012

All Souls Day, 2012

There is something unmistakably beautiful and bittersweet about the gradual decline of a year. In this part of the world, we enjoyed summer weather right up until Thanksgiving (the second Monday of October), and then, just like that, the north wind carried a cooler, damper message, and fall began. The trees, their leaves almost dried to a crisp from the seemingly endless stretch of brilliant sunny days, seemed to rust overnight and exclaim, "Wait a minute? Weren't we just yesterday young and green?" 

Our fall colour is at its peak right now, and is often glossy with the rain. Bands of low cloud stretch across the mountainsides and the grass/moss mixture that is our lawn is littered with damp, brown leaves. The ruby red Japanese maples around our town are nature's crowning achievement this year before she lets the winter winds have their way, shedding her old coat until spring.

An interesting new fence separates this house's trees
from the empty lot next door

Ginko trees turn a sunny yellow in the town

A red maple spreads out  its foliage like an umbrella

Today is All Souls Day, a day to remember those who have gone before us, those who have shed the old and heavy coat of this life on earth. Two years ago I was inspired by the glory of the fall colour to write a poem about All Souls Day. I re-posted it last year and today, I will share it again. It still resonates with me. Perhaps when you read it, you will insert the names of your own loved ones and those who have inspired you and are no longer with us.

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, Jason, and Rodi
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

Empty swings on  the Harrison beach lagoon

Wishing you a good weekend. 


  1. As you, and most others, I too have lost souls to remember. What a beautiful poem in tribute to those gone but not forgotten. Your writing is a gift to the world, Rebecca.

  2. Lovely photos and poem.

    All Souls is of lesser importance these days. I'm not fully certain why, for by dint of our existence we all have an equal number in that state that need remembering.

    1. Thanks, Vince.

      I suppose many people think that they don't need a particular day to remember the dead. I, for one, like the idea of having seasons and marked occasions for the different things of life: a time to remember, a time to reflect, a time to live more simply, a time to pull out all the stops, etc. It gives my life a feeling of moving forward, yet always respecting and reflecting on what has been and what is to come in the future.

  3. It seems that when I've seen the best Autumn views this year I've never had my camera with me. Like you I often linger on memories of peopleloved or known who have gone, not morbidly but thankfully and often happily or more correctly - gratefully. I like the matching image of shedding coats to meet new seasons. Yes, I like that very much. I can't say I'm religious anymore, not conventionally anyway, but I'd like to find something beyond when the time comes and it's a huge comfort to believe that is what those precious others have found, but my rational head says most likely not.

    Thanks for this one Rebecca. Your a wee gem.


    1. I purposely took my camera out yesterday, because it was the first fine day in a long stretch of rainy weather, and I knew it would not be long until the trees shed their coats :)

      I remember a scene in Sleepless in Seattle when the son and the widowed father discuss the afterlife. In response the the son's question about it, the dad says that he didn't use to believe but that now he wasn't sure, as his wife had 'appeared' to him in his dreams and assured him that life would go on without her, because she was still 'with' them...or something like that.

      Cheers to you as well, my friend from far away.

  4. I like your segue from the changing of seasons to the ultimate change that we all will experience.

    Your is a beautiful expression of love for the departed and your care of what their eternal existences may be.

    On another note, I kinda like that fence; though, I'll probably never have use for one so ornate.

    1. Thank you Anita. I'm very glad you liked the post, and that my meaning with the changing of the seasons came through!

      I like the fence, too, although I think it will look nice a little aged.

  5. a stirring poem....the thoughts not only of our loved ones but those we never knew but on some level we had a connection with...and one day hopefully we will rejoin them...i love fall it brings these rememberences but also the brilliant flash of beauty before the death...and falling....

    happy saturday to you! smiles.

    1. That means a great deal coming from you, the poet. Thanks.
      Happy Saturday to you, too!


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!