Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dia de Los Muertes

"And in the end the Love you take is equal to the Love you make."
The Beatles

Many years ago in the midst of one of my little family's moves I surfaced from a dream in that time between sleeping and waking, asking, "What was that?" As all four of us were sharing the same hotel room I looked around to see if anyone had been roused by my question. Everyone but me was sound asleep, so I snuggled back into the covers and held the dream close.

The dream was a comfort to me. Even as I was excited about moving to Williamsburg, VA, a city I thoroughly enjoyed, I was quite aware that I was moving on from special people and special memories and I was not certain how I felt about that. In the dream I seemed to see the continent of North America as if from orbit. Marking the area of Virginia wherein I lived I saw, well, what I would call a pearl of light, and from that pearl strands of light radiated out to other parts of the country wherein beloved family and friends lived. (I think one strand stretched to Scotland, too.)

"Take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night."
"Romeo and Juliet," William Shakespeare, III.ii.24-26

As I contemplated this 'map of light' a voice in the dream said, very kindly, "This is what we see when you move away from the people you love."

In the years since that dream I have developed a picture in my mind in which each earthbound soul holds the light of his or her life as a candle, that tiny flame flickering and braving the weather of our years. We'll wear whatever masks and costumes of our choice as we hold our lives, our souls, and explore the heart-mysteries of who we are here - perhaps we will even manage to carve out a little lantern for ourselves to pierce the darkness.

When we leave this earth, when we walk on into the light, perhaps we set those lanterns on Heaven's floor and the light we have always been pierces that floor, carving out the stars for those still finding their way to the light.

So, on this Dia de Los Muertes (Day of the Dead) let all honor be to those whose lives light ours with Love, who in their mercy pierce the darkness and assault us with Love - most gently and beyond the limits of reason.

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