Today, while browsing through The Knot's real wedding pictures looking for ideas for my good friend's wedding, I ran across my new love. Well, second after Jay. This picture literally took my breath away. Is this not one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen!
I love working with herbs. Not only do they look beautiful, but they smell wonderfully, and they have rich histories. According to the ever-wonderful wikipedia Rosemary has been linked with increased memory and was associated with rememberance for many, many years, which is why is was often used in bridal bouquets and thrown into the graves of those who had passed on. Which makes it especially appropriate at this time of year.
Next week is the celtic holiday of Saimhain (pronounced souw-like sour but with a w-wayne). It coincides with Halloween and is most likely where Halloween gots its start. It was not the comerciallistic candy selling, costume buying holiday that it has become. But it does have a link to the other world.
On Saimhain, it was belived that the veil between this world and the next was pulled thin, and those who had gone on before us could come visit those who are still in this relm. It wasn't a scary, ghosts and goblins, witches and zombies, holiday. It was kind of like Thanksgiving for the dead. :-) However, since the veil was thin, and not just your friends and family might come by to say hello, pumpkins were carved and placed on the porch to ward off any unfriendly spirits from stopping by and steeling your awesome Chexmix. Well, they probably didnt' have Chexmix back then but you get the point.
Personally, I don't take it far enough to think that my great-grandmother Bonnie, might come by and say hello while Jay and I are having dinner. But this holiday does have a lot of significance for me. In addition to it being the day the veil was the thinnest, it was also the Celtic new year. I've never been a big New Years Eve fan. The partying and drinking and waking up with a hang over was never really my thing. Maybe that's why I love this holiday so much.
So, on October 31st, I'll spend some time in the evening, to celebrate the lives of those who have gone on before me. The women (and men) who have paved a way for me. Those who fought for my right to speak my mind on this blog without fear of the government. Those who fought for my right to practice whatever religion I see fit. Those who fought for my right to vote. Something I all but take forgranted. Those in my mother and grandmother's generation who faught for the (more or less) equal pay I enjoy. Those who have lost their life on the battlefield defending my freedom. Those who faught for my right to not wear a corsette, although I'd love to see a revolt against high heals!
But not only will I take time to honor those who have gone before me, but I will also take time to be thankful for those who are still with me. My grandmother has cancer and is in poor health. Although she is so tenacious, I'm not sure she'll ever give up the ghost! When ever my mom talks about my spirit, tenacity, or rebeliousness, she always comments on the fact that its because I have the blood of Louise Bumgarner (my grandmother) running through my veins. I'm thankful that my mom is still here. I cannot even imagine the time that she will pass onto the next relm. I know that I'll survive when it does, but I'm thankful it wasn't this year. I'll take time to honor my brothers who are so important in my life, and my friends who I would not be able to live without. And most importantly, I'll take time to honor my husband who is my rock.
Even beyond that though, I'll try and take some time to evaluated my life. What are the things in my life that I need to let die in order to not bring them into this new year? The main thing I'm working on right now is learning to be less defensive with people. I know that the defensiveness steems from some left over low selfesteem, so as I grow that I know the other will die more an more.
And finally, I'll take time to honor the things in my life that I am proud of and that have come to fruition over this harvest season. For instance the fact that my job has calmed down and to some degree that has been because I have started to stand up for myself.
So, my challenge to you... is to take some time sometime next week to celebrate those who have gone before you, those who you know personally and those who you know only by the effects they broght along. Take time to honor those who are still with us, and make sure they know how much they mean to us. Take time to evaluate the things that need to die in your own life. And finally celebrate the things that have come into bloom over this harvest season.
Blessed Be y'all. And happy Saimhain.