Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Day of the Dead

The orb weaver left me Halloween morning.  There was no sign of him except for the small little web wall he had created in the clothespin.  It seemed fitting that he would go on this of all days.  A reminder that attachments, while they are here, buoy the spirit, but they leave in their wake a painful reminder that this is a world that spins and changes, moment by moment.

A walk around the city reminds me that, here the dead have a place at the table.  Every year it is set for them.  Their favorite food and drink on the table, a path of flower petals and candles to lights their way.
The say that it always rains around the day of the dead and that this rain brings the spirits of the departed to their seat at the table. Some say that they are here to visit for the month of November.

They are celebrated, their stories are told to the children of the family, as if to say, this is who we are, this is our family, we are strong and even in honoring the dead, we can be joyous. And when it is your time to go, you will always have a seat here, at our table. We will light your way.

But that is not the only lesson here.  Look at these faces.  They are the Katrinas.  They remind the children that this life is also an illusion.  That the material world will fade, it is a thing of momentary beauty.  Behind your smiles, the loveliness of your young face, we all look alike.  What remains of the beauty that moved through life, is the memory.   The story that lives on in the family, and endures to say to each generation, we are still here.  We set this table as a reverent and joyous reminder of who we are. And together we will remember, we will eat this food and then we will dance.