Every October my family gets together for our version of the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition. We craft, play outside, watch football and snack in the afternoon. As darkness sets in, the altar candles are lit, smoke is made in the cauldron, we have dinner and we remember our loved ones. And there is always at least one new photo on the altar of a loved one who passed over in the last year.
I feel very strongly that these last weeks of autumn are a time for connection between the worlds. I woke up this morning thinking that as my outer world looks bleak and barren with a sense of withdrawal, that my inner world was actually stretching and energized. That I was ready to reach through any veil of separation between the visible and the invisible worlds.
And just like that, I knew that I would write letters today and that this practice would be a new tradition for me to look forward to every Samhain (All Saints' Day/All Souls' Day) from now on. I wrote three letters today...to my little boy who passed at age seven, to my mother and to my dad. As I wrote, I held something that I knew they had touched -- to my heart and to my lips.
I wrote what I loved most about them. I said I was sorry for certain situations. I asked them to help me know and feel more than I know and feel now. Then I filled all the candle holders with new tealights and set the altar ablaze.
I stood watch.
I may have done some knitting.
And taken a short walk around the garden.
There are more letters to be written over the next several weeks. It appears that I have quite a long mailing list.