All Souls Day by William Klein

“All Souls Day”

It’s the time of change. The eve of a presidential election.

Halloween on Saturday had a blue moon. It was the kind of moon that gives pause.  The halo around it, the brightest spot in the sky shining crystal clear like a clean silver dollar illumined in the dark.

Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay” speaks of the season’s glow and endeavors to show its brilliance in passing. “Then leaf subsides to leaf, so Eden sank to grief/so dawn goes down to day/Nothing gold can stay.”

Fall’s leaves – browns, reds, yellow, golden orange hues – capture the earth’s story.

Fall brings with it a haunting realization that change is upon us – dramatic winter squalls and frigid temps with naked limbs frozen in place will arrive soon. 

Soon we’ll see what it means to change. For good or ill, it’s coming for us.

Sunday was “All Souls Day,” which points to those who have gone before us. It is a day of reflection on those who have sacrificed and offered their talents to the human race in the name of doing right. The day designates identities who have sharpened their intellect and spiritual muscle on giving themselves for the greater good.

All souls reminds us of saints and sinners who have illustrated the pages of history with follies and foibles that are part of the human experience. The day honors the lives of deceased to remind us that the dear connection to loves lost is still within a prayer’s call.

Those who went before physically laid out what it means to be human through the example of their lives. Their work and play, toil and trouble, conviction and doubt on full display.

We’ve all buried that person who through no fault of his own has fallen short. The tragic flaws of a character’s undoing in a story is the undoing of heroes in our lives. But even in death, the shining example of one moment can point us to a deeper more abiding conviction of hope.

Some honored among them begged for food only to give it away to those who needed it more. Some died in the name of justice.  Some waged war through the example of service, using enlightened self-interest as their weapon of choice and battling fear through the prospects of an earnest belief in the Constitution of Love. 

We should learn from such ways.

As we squander time and lose ourselves in the petty ways of political strife, “All souls” calls for the recognition of a sacred life.

Change is upon us one way or another, for good or ill.

Uncertainty comes to us all.

In some religious traditions there is a belief that those who’ve gone before are still at work beyond the veil; working in our dreams and inspiring still when we penetrate the mystic guise of wonder. Their lives have laid a blueprint for helping us see answers for ourselves.

We revere those who faced uncertainty and conquered for the sake of faith.  Faith in something greater.  Faith that all is ordained to work out for the best.

Whatever the day, whatever the time, all souls will come to realize this.

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