Last night was Day of the Dead, dia de los muertos. We celebrated as we do every year with an altar and stories about those who have crossed the veil, whom tradition says are particularly close to us at this time of year. This year it took over the living room fireplace hearth, spreading out into the room, with a blue norther whistling in upon us just as the candles were lit.
My papa was honored along with Linda's parents, other relatives, and friends departed recently and long past. Julia, my dear friend and colleague of many years, was with us and added her list of departed creative mentors to the table. We had all the yellow flowers the drought-struck garden could provide, an amazing display actually, especially with the new button mum from HEB. Also gingerbread and hot chocolate and sweet stories and sharings. I am so blessed to have made this cultural tradition of the region part of my own life for so many years now. I wonder how others in our world do without this special time. It is a special time and kind of memory honoring, both personal and universal, of story and shared poems and prayer, of images pulled out from the drawers, mementos of lives lived richly, now shuttered. A little teary, but mostly happy, recounting the laughter, the gifts, the unique human lives of those we have loved, and , if not here exactly, are never really lost to us. I am who I am from their guidance, their influences, their givings and boundaries, their lives taken as lessons.