Toussaint–All Saints’ Day
Every year at this time the cemetery on the eastern side of the prebytère fills up with flowers–real and artificial–as relatives arrive all week to pay their respects and remember.
By November 1st it is full of colour, as the spotlight falls briefly on the tombs and graves of loved ones who have passed.
This annual pilgrimage of remembrance is a fine tradition which was new to us when we arrived.
But we’ve adopted it–or more precisely, adapted it….
On this day each year we open our Sketchbook of Remembrance–add the names of those that have died since last November and light a candle for everyone on the pages.
Family, friends and even beloved pets.
[We both lost brothers within months of each other–Peter and Storm–at the relatively young ages of 58 and 60.]
None of our parents was alive when we met.
We’re sure they would have got on however–despite the cross-cultural differences (Chicago and London!) and searched for common ground–even literally. We like to imagine them in the garden here –all four were keen gardeners.
Meredith and I would happily have sat back and watched, while Dodie & Speed and Molly & Tony rolled up their sleeves and “mucked in”!
We’d have their “gin & tonics” or “whisky & sodas”–the chosen tipple of that generation–on hand at the end of the session and look forward to some “grown up talk” among equals.
It’ll never happen of course and we miss them. But this adopted ritual in a foreign land helps in remembering them at this time when–so it’s said–the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest.