Sunday, November 08, 2009

All Souls...

Sigh. The All Souls procession steps off in about an hour and I have failed to convince either family member currently in town to go with me, so I sit back and hope Homer's going and will post lots of pictures.

I drove past Holy Hope Cemetery this afternoon and saw many Mexican families celebrating All Souls' Day with festive tables set up at their loved ones' gravesites, pink tablecloths and ribbons and balloons and a few hibachis smoking happily away. This definitely ranks up there with the finest traditions I have encountered here and there around the world, and seems like a deeply satisfying way to deal with the reality that people eventually die while others are left behind. Get together once a year to celebrate lives and share good food and set a place for the deceased, even if they can't chew quite as well as they used to. It's the thought that counts, and the thought kicks ass. Why cry when you can have a nice picnic instead?

Next year I suspect I will be going to the procession, accompanied or unaccompanied, it won't matter. The sun is rapidly setting on my three surviving grandparents after very long and (I hope, for them) rewarding lives. There will be no picnic in the graveyard--that sort of thing is not exactly understood in small town southern Illinois--and if it is not next year it will be the next, for something bittersweet but as celebratory as it can be.

Lovely weather tonight. I hope it's magical for everyone who goes.