November and Remembrance

Autumn_WoodNovember is a month of Remembrance. Last weekend we honored the Ancestors and other departed loved ones. This week we remember the veterans who have served our country in peacetime and war. Later in the month Thanksgiving arrives with its complex patina of memory, culture and meaning.

November in Vermont brings dark gray skies and dramatic swings in temperature. There are few sunny days, night comes early, and the snow line slowly moves down the mountains. Here by the lake the wind has a bite when it comes from the west or northwest. As a result, we burn wood in the wood stove more often as the month and the cold advance.

The longer nights and deepening chill encourage us to turn inward, physically and spiritually, and the idea of hibernation becomes more inviting. As the month progresses the spirits seem to gather around the hearth; this is a time for sharing stories, personal, sacred and profane. It is a good time for remembering and appreciating those who made our lives possible, and pondering our role as bridges between the generations. Continue reading

Gratitude and Remembrance

Christmas-TreeTomorrow is January 6th, Little Christmas or Epiphany. It is also Christmas Day in the Orthodox calendar. In many traditions, most Christmas decorations are taken down by the end of the day tomorrow, although the season continues through February 2nd, Candlemass. Even as we put away the trappings of the season, the spirits and Ancestors remain close. Continue reading