“There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind.” – Hannah Senesh, poet
I’ve been rising early in the morning and going out on our lanai which faces east to look at the dark sky and ponder my life. What has greeted me every morning lately is a big bright star that I discovered is the planet Venus. I think of these words by Hannah Senesh when I gaze at Venus, and I remember the people in my life who are no longer a physical presence but whose love and creativity and compassion still burn brightly within me.
All Saints Day on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd are both days in which we have the opportunity to contemplate death. All Saints Day is in honor of all saints known and unknown, and All Souls Day commemorates loved ones who have passed on. Both events strengthen the spiritual bonds between us and those who belong to the “great majority.”
I have lost too many friends this year, and their stars are especially bright this time of year. I am comforted by their memories and inspired by their love at a time when, because of quarantine, I have been unable to honor them in person at a memorial or graveside service.
I also honor all those who have died in the pandemic, and I hope their lights continue to burn brightly in the lives of those who loved them. We can all honor their sacrifice by taking care of each other, using science and logic as our guides and not pretending that their deaths mean nothing.
What lights burn most brightly for you?