Today is a big holiday in most of the world. I think almost all of Europe and Latin America celebrate this day known by many names: All Saint’s Day, Dia de los Muertos, or Toussaint (too-saau) in France, to name a few. For some crazy reason, the US doesn’t observe it unless your catholic. But I think this is a day that’s bigger than religion or praying.
There is also All Soul’s Day, which comes on November 2. The two have become merged into one day here (maybe other places too, I’m not sure). Basically, today is a day to reflect on all who have passed, wether saintly or not, catholic or not. Here in St. Barth, nothing is open; All boutiques, markets, banks, schools, post offices, and public offices are closed. Even many restaurants remain quiet today. It’s a big deal. Tonight everyone will go to the cemeteries starting around dusk to lay new flowers (plastic, because of the sun & heat), light candles & take some time to remember all who have passed. It may sound somber & depressing, I assure you, it is not. I attend every year, and it is definitely a time of quiet candlelit celebrations.
This morning, I was scrolling through facebook and stumbled upon something that really impacted me. It was from a page called The Smart Witch. Now I am not a witch, but I am also not closed-minded. I love learning new things & trying to see life from different perspectives. She seems to have some nice things to say, and If I can gain insights to myself and life through a priest, a buddha, a grandma, a co-worker, a witch, a child or a rabbi, I’m happily accepting it, and thank you very much for putting it out there for me to find.
Below is what she posted and I love it, especially today, on this day of Toussaint, a day when we should be observing lives gone by, I think its also poignant to remember that we are still alive, and we will one day (hopefully) be remembered by our ancestors on this day, but until then, we have an assignment to complete.
Here is Your Assignment…
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or not, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.
4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it, then you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
6. “There” is no better than “here”. When your “there” has become “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look better than “here”.
7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need, what you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. The answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.
10. Whether you think you can or can’t, in either case you’ll be right.