This weekend Halloween is here, but in many cultures in different areas of the world, All Saints’ Day and the Day of the Dead is celebrated. It is a day of remembrance of our loved ones who have passed before us. Even in Finland, traditional Halloween as known in the United States, has made its way into mainstream culture. Schools host Halloween parties and yesterday I had meeting in Helsinki and I had to quick come up with a costume plan for the party-goers, long-distance. We happened to have some cheap, white curtain fabric from Ikea that had sat in my cupboard for about 11 years, never serving the purpose they had been intended for. And so my husband used it to make the kids into mummies. Cheap, effiencient and I got another space in my cupboard cleaned out.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
excerpt from the poem, For the Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
Tomorrow the stores will all be closed and so I just returned home from a quick last minute run to the grocery. The lines were long. I suppose everyone else had the same idea as well. As I drove to the grocery store that is close by, I drove by the large white church surrounded by cemetary. It was already dark and so the whole church yard twinkled with the lights of hundreds of candles. Such a calming sight.
As I was driving, the news was playing on the radio. We have had a very different October weather-wise. Traditionally in Finland, October and November are quite dreary and it might rain and the sky might be gray for weeks on end. Or that is how it feels. We have had more sunshine this month than ever has been previously recorded. Of course in between the sunny days there have been a few misty ones as well. Along with the coming of fall, it has felt good to eat and drink things that hold a bit of sunshine and are full of vitamins to help make it through the darkest time of year.
juice of two oranges
juice of one lemon
3 cm/1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into smaller pieces
1 or 2 leaves of kale, with the stems removed and ripped into bunches
(for a change in color, add some blueberries (frozen or fresh) to the mix above)
I Heard your Voice in the Wind today -unkown
I heard your voice in the wind today
and I turned to see your face;
The warmth of the wind caressed me
as I stood silently in place.
I felt your touch in the sun today
as its warmth filled the sky;
I closed my eyes for your embrace
and my spirit soared high.
I saw your eyes in the window pane
as I watched the falling rain;
It seemed as each raindrop fell
it quietly said your name.
I held you close in my heart today
it made me feel complete;
You may have died…but you are not gone
you will always be a part of me.
As long as the sun shines…
the wind blows…
the rain falls…
You will live on inside of me forever
for that is all my heart knows.