We have a black (mostly) cat. His name is Buddy. Although this image looks a little creepy and kooky, that was not the intention. I was going for the two candles in front, illustrating the idea of one being lit from the other, when he, being the Buddy that he is, slowly, out of sheer curiosity, crept into the frame. That's how I got the shot. This image always makes me smile, and it would for you too, if you knew Buddy. So what does this have to do with this time of year? Besides the obvious stereotype of black cats, creepy images, and things that bump in the night, it's actually a reminder of the other side. There's a lot of focus on the spooky and scary this time of year, but it's also a time rich in celebration. In times past and around the world, festivals celebrate the harvest season and prepare for winter, a time of rest and renewal. Historically, it's also a time to honor those that have passed. It seems to me that we don't do a lot of that in the United States. We don't really even talk of the dead. Too painful perhaps. Too scary, maybe, because it reminds us that our time in this space is limited. But how best to honor those that have gone before, and all they may have offered, than to remember that they lived, as we live, as we exist now. So what if, as exists in traditions around the world, we throw a party? Or take a moment at your next gathering to acknowledge and appreciate someone who used to be here. Light a candle with your best memory of them and be glad they walked this way for a while. Now, some, we may not feel so happy about. Their lives didn't feel very enriching. Or they left too soon. Maybe, in hindsight, their experience could teach us, in some way, how to live our best life. Could it teach us how to live going forward, open our eyes, and be guided by their light? Something to think about. We can appreciate them for that. Because, ultimately, it's a choice we make. Are we drawn to the dark side, the difficulty, the challenge, the drama, the adrenalin rush, or do we choose the light? Fear, left unattended, can make us choose a direction we really don't want to go. But fear, is not intended to be your anchor. It's meant to be your guide, to nudge you toward your light.
This is Buddy and his sister Rosie, who passed a few years ago. She was a light in our life and is always remembered with a smile. Trick or treat? I prefer the treats. Wishing you many treats during this transition. And like Buddy, may you always find the light.