Friday, October 31, 2008

A Time to Every Purpose

Though we haven't reached the end of the calendar, this weekend finds us all at a turning of the year.

Halloween, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day all remind us life in its many forms comes to an end. Samhain, the old Celtic holiday, literally means "summer's end" and represents the last harvest as the plants in our gardens and farms die back in the face of frost and snow. And the religious feasts of the saints, celebrated in many countries, give us time to remember our loved ones who have died and to reflect on our own mortality. Even the end of Daylight Savings Time offers a tangible reminder that time marches on and night draws closer (at least for a little while).

Perhaps that seems too somber a topic, but let's not forget that, as every year proves, somehow, life goes on. One season ends, and another begins -- and while we may regret the passing of the old, the new has many pleasures to share with us as well.

A time to plant, a time to reap...
A time to laugh, a time to weep...

The famous passage from Ecclesiastes (made popular in the song "Turn! Turn! Turn!") offers a good meditation at this time of year, when we finally have time after the summer's gardening, farming, and/or food preservation to sit back and rest. And before I jump back into all my projects at home this weekend, I want to share some thoughts and news from other folks -- some of the day-to-day "saints" whose work I appreciate so much -- that seem fitting at this time:

--Ed celebrates his sweet potato harvest and makes me think I should plant some next year
--Charlotte muses about canning jars and why she loves them so much
--Laura harvests her first chickens (it's graphic but very informative)
--Shasha reminds us that not everyone can afford good food and asks how we can help
--Sharon calls us all back into action to get ready for winter

The other news that has slowed me down here at week's end is having learned earlier this week that my fellow food lover, the beautiful and sweet Bri, has died following a second grueling round of breast cancer. Though I barely knew her, Bri brought a great deal of light and love and laughter into my life through the words she shared on her blog and her compassionate emails shared just with me. Her husband Marc posted a loving tribute on her blog and sent out a request to all her readers:

I have a favor to ask of all of her readers and friends around the globe.

Life is unpredictable and often shorter than we wish. When you sit down to eat, take a moment to savor the deliciousness that crosses your palate. Delight in each precious moment of joy, beauty and friendship. We never know how many we will be given.

For the love of all things scrumptious

-Marc

His request dovetails perfectly with this turning of the year. Life is too short, and we don't know what we will be given. But that makes it all the more vital to focus on what is truly important, the things that often seem too simple or too easy to take for granted, and to "savor the deliciousness" that life brings our way.

There is a time to every purpose under heaven. I have to believe that. And while the work of life is never done, there is time to sit and enjoy the fruits of our labor, sharing it with open hands and open hearts, in "
blest communion, fellowship divine."

And may we all find a little rest this weekend.

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2 Comments:

At 11/03/2008 2:42 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

everything feels so tender and tentative and full of possibility and full of emptiness. I keep crying. Thank you for your words. xoox.

 
At 11/04/2008 7:24 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thank YOU, Kelly. I guess that tender, tentative feeling can be what keeps us from feeling broken...

 

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