Fall Back & Live Forward
We are all quite busy this month so thank goodness we will add an hour when we change the clocks (November 7th) and “fall back.” We can use this extra hour to nurture ourselves, our families, and our friends, and we can remember to appreciate the precious time we have in our lives. We may not have any scheduled elections this particular year as we often do during the month of November, but we sure have reason to be busy.
The American holiday of Thanksgiving is that time when we actually take specific moments and seize the opportunity to sate ourselves with yummy food, festivity, family, and friendships. We make it a point to join with family and friends who perhaps we wouldn’t see during the month. Gratitude seems to be the topic most reflected upon during this particular American festival. Travel, time off of school and work, football games, and to do lists abound. We may have some issues regarding this holiday’s origins and meanings, but we can agree that it affords us the time to reflect on its good intentions.
This year, no sooner than the Thanksgiving dishes are washed, dried, and put away then we begin our celebration of Hanukkah where we are reminded of the meaningfulness of light, hope, and perseverance that surround our time together. We look forward to eight nights of candle lighting, singing, making and eating latkes, and connecting with family, friends, and our beloved community. We delight in the faces of our youngest folks who get as close as they can to the candles as they are lit each night. Blessings are sung with familiar melodies that remind us of family times in years past. The aroma of hot oil sizzling in our kitchens suggests memories of loved ones, times spent together, and traditions.
We might want to consider these times and celebrations a bit differently this year as we continue to take care of ourselves and one another with respect to our responses to the pandemic. It appears our tables this year will be back to some kind of normalcy with some of the health restrictions lifted. We will be able to safely gather in many cases, so unlike last year. Our expressions of gratitude and appreciation for the lights in our lives will include our new reality, our new beginnings as we re-enter our sacred family spaces and opportunities. We will tread carefully and continue to respect what is most important to each of us and we will express the warmth of human connection in living our lives and practicing our faith traditions. We can focus on living forward with the grace of time. Let us all share blessings of gratitude, nurturance, and the practice of taking care of one another.