Sunday, 23 September 2007

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Partly because of my friend Janet's mum's death, I've been thinking alot about death and dying. How very much "in the midst of life we are in death".
Autumn seems like the right sort of time for these sorts of reflections - nature in the northern hemisphere blooms with bright yellows, reds and oranges, the glorious colours of leaves dying before falling to nourish the soil. The ground would seem to lie fallow and yet the buds of a new spring are already presnt on the branches as they become bare.
As summer and autumn moves towards winter and hours of daylight diminish in the northern hemisphere, this is also the time in many of our church calendars when we remember, celebrate and reflect on what those who have died before us have given to us - All Saints and All Souls' day on 1 and 2 November, remembrance or armistice day on November 11, Buss- und Bettag in Germany towards the end of November and Totensonntag now more usually called Ewigkeitssonntag. (The Sunday of the dead as opposed to eternity Sunday in case you're interested in these arcane translation matters.) And this mellow reflective season is also a time both of harvest festivals and of the new academic year - endings and beginnings, a truly fruitful time.
So somehow the beautiful falling leaves also say - in the midst of death we are in life. Remembering those who have gone before is also a powerful way of saying we are not alone on this strange journey called life.

1 Comment:

Gustavo Bonato said...

Today (Oct 08th) is my dad's birthday. Thursday it will be the first year since he passed away.

The phrase "In the midst of life we are in death" reafirms the idea that one does not disapear, but goes closer to God. This faith gives, for sure, a lot of comfort, but it still hurst a lot.

There is word in Portuguese, "saudade", which is quite hard to translate into one English word. It is something like a "fond remembrance".

Saudade is the word, this week.