Updated: Nov 2, 2022
“Hmm, hmm, I want to sit,
Hmm, hmm, a little longer,
Hmm, hmm, a little longer here with you.
Hmm, hmm, and come September,
Hmm, hmm, we will remember,
Hmm, hmm, the times I spent here with you.”
Not long ago I was sitting with a group around the campfire, staring into the crackling, dancing embers. I found myself humming this song. I was transported back to all those summer campfires years ago as a teenage Girl Guide. Rarely in my life have I felt such a profound and wonderful sense of belonging and joy as I did then, sitting together singing and sharing stories. Nearly every time I sit at a campfire, at some point my memory brings me back to those special, sacred times.
The beginning of November is a season of remembering. On the first day of the month, All Saints, we remember those who make up the cloud of witnesses in eternal life. Some of them are literally saints who have been canonised by the church over the centuries. But probably most of those we remember are people we have known and loved, the wonderful saints and inspirations in our lives. We remember and give thanks and affirm the special bond of love that still binds our hearts together, heaven to earth.
In the first weeks of November, we also mark Remembrance Sunday, remembering all those who have served, died or been left traumatised by war and conflict. As we remember, we recommit ourselves to peace and reconciliation and to living in a more holistic way.
I wonder what you remember this season? Memories can be beautifully healing or can bring us back to places of deep woundedness. Be gentle with yourself as you remember. Hold yourself with great self-compassion. Tap into tools for self-care. Open to God’s love and acceptance of you just as you are.
As for me, during this season, as I walk through the Bield estate, I remember many of you – the places we sat, the trees and plants we gazed upon, the deep sharing and listening, the moments of stillness – and I give thanks for the healing of this place. And as I sit in the chapel, I remember beloved family members whose absence still causes a sharp pain to nip my heart. I remember and I give thanks. Then I light a candle and entrust them once more to God’s everlasting love and peace.