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On remembering

October 31, 2007


The second day of November is All Souls Day or Day of the Dead on some Christian calendars. I’m not a religious person but some of the traditions of my raising, continue to make sense to me; you remember and honour the memory of those that came before you. You learn their stories and remember their lives; imperfect, yes but not without substance or lessons to teach, if you take the time to listen.

Really the day provides a formalised focus or cultural expression for the things many of us do daily, often not consciously. For example, every time I use olive oil or eat olives, I remember my uncle saying to me as I turned my nose up at some kalamata olives, “Listen to me young lady, you don’t know what’s good for you! You’ll love them one day.” He was right. I dream of olive groves!

I like to remember and honour my ancestors in the doing and the living; when I knit or make bread – my paternal grandmother; when I do my laundry or household budgeting or sewing – my maternal grandmother; when I don’t accept the status quo – my father (actually all of them, they are a contrary bunch) and every time I pick up a spade, garden fork or mattock and put it into the earth and attempt to grow food, I remember them. I only hope that I do them all justice.

The experiences, stories, recollections and memories become part of your own life – the grain, the shape and form. That’s not earth shattering but what would my life be without it?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2007 7:22 am

    Samhain greeting to you and yours.

  2. November 1, 2007 10:29 am

    Yes – to you and yours also.

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