Today is part of Hallowmas which includes Halloween, All Saints Day (or All Hallows Day), and All Souls Day (November 2). So when some debate about whether or not a good Christian should celebrate Halloween, *yawn*, Catholics tend to ask if it’s a Holy day of obligation aka “do I need to go to Mass?” Halloween has been listed as a satanic holiday and as a secular candy holiday but Halloween became a Catholic celebration over a thousand years old.
Even the "occult" aspects of Halloween coincide with Catholic beliefs. At certain times of the year, the veil separating earth from the other world is thin. The souls or ghosts and demons can be more readily seen during this time.
Today, Hallows Day (Hallows is another word for Saints or that which is Holy) is celebrated by Catholics as a day to remember those who have crossed over, be it Saint or not-yet-recognized Saint. It’s a solemn day where typically one attends Mass or visits a cemetery to remember one’s loved ones.
Today with my extra hour (Daylight Savings Time ending is awesome especially when one forgets and then realizes that it’s earlier in the day than one had imagined!), I went to Greenwood Memorial Gardens, a cemetery that was opened in the early 1950's on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, in Goochland County line. The grounds feature large open areas and upright markers with a few mausoleums and dedicated sections for Jewish and Veteran burials.
I’ve never actually walked the entire cemetery although I’ve been here several times since I was young. My grandmother is buried here and one of my late friends from high school. I was in middle school when my grandmother passed. I have strong memories of her though because we saw each other weekly. She was so kind and she was the best cook. I probably wouldn't be vegetarian if she were still alive ;) My friend Mindy passed in 1991... we had been friends for about a decade. It's a tragic story that should be saved for another day.
It's ironic how cemeteries with tall monuments and mausoleums don't frighten me like these open- garden style ones do. My mother always warned me about muggings in cemeteries and I suppose as a child I associated these scary acts with this particular cemetery.
It was a beautiful day to walk around the cemetery, to appreciate fall, and to spend some time with my loved ones who have passed. There were a few other visitors that I saw although I could hear people in the near distance. I'm not sure if there was a neighborhood nearby and the sounds were carrying or if there were rambunctious children in another part of the grounds.
Originally, I had planned to go to one of my favorite cemetery-stomps but I felt the universe calling me to go see my grandmother. When I stopped to pick up flowers, I ended up at a florist where a classmate from my guide school worked. We caught up and I really felt that heading west of the city was the right choice for today. I often visit other people's people; today, I wanted to visit my own. I picked up some flowers— more traditional beauties for my grandmother and some Halloweeny ones that ended up dying my hands for my good friend. She would have laughed.
While walking through the cemetery, nearly a dozen bluebirds swooped down into the lawn. My grandmother loved birds; I felt a strong presence and all was right in the world.
The day felt exactly how a nice relaxing Sunday should feel. Geez, I don't think I've had one in a while. This morning, I made pumpkin pancakes for my fella and me, and we watched Trick 'r Treat (2007) ; tonight, I made a lobster dinner with a pasta side with pumpkin cookies and ice-cream for dessert; and, we watched R.L. Stine's Monsterville: The Cabinet of Souls. It was a really nice day.