When folks around Texas hear “Open Season” they think wild animals and long rifles.
We consider these October days to be days when we open the season of gratitude with intentionality?
Personally, I had sweet and warm memories of my mother, Ruby, on her birthday recently, October 5th. My heart swelled with gratitude for her and her fidelity. Even in troubling times, she celebrated special events with joy and a twinkle in her eye. Birthdays, holidays, festivals; Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. Seasonal decorations on the Sunday dining table for special invited guests.
We turned our attention to Halloween and celebrated it as All Hallow’s Eve (the Vigil of All Saint’s Day, October 31)? San Antonio’s rich tradition of making las ofrendas
(offerings [altars] to the dead) celebrates the lives of our beloved ones who have gone on before us. My las ofrendas
honoring my son, Wade, have been a ritual of remembering little details of his life that still touch me.
We gather on November 1 with some family or friends and tell the stories of how the Saints (big S) have blessed us or how special dear ones (small s) have blessed us. On All Saints Day, especially, I remember the pastor at my Aunt Adline’s funeral remarking that Adline was a praying person and surely, she continues to pray for us in heaven.
We enter into this Autumn season giving thanks, celebrating even the little things? Let the gratitude grow during the Advent season of holy expectation and waiting. Make Thanksgiving a season, not just a day, of gratitude for graces received during the previous year.
We approach the Nativity this year like we have never celebrated Christmas before, with a heart overflowing with gratitude for our God With Us, Emmanuel? The carols and narratives portray a silent night. What if we celebrate noisily, giving praise for the event that changed all of history – God born among us?
What excitement will renew your body
When we all begin to see
That God’s heart resides in everything?*
*Excerpt from A Root in Each Act and Creature. The Gift: Poems by Hafiz. Adapted from the translation by Daniel Ladinsky