November can represent an end to a cycle. The ultimate transition of fall to winter brings wild skies, rain storms and winds. Some of us seek shelter during these times, warming our homes and being quiet in front of our fireplaces or close to our heat sources, whatever they may be.

The cycle doesn’t necessarily end, only transitions to a different environment as we continue to find purpose in our lives, gratitude for all the gifts we have received, especially the gift of life, and for what we are able to create together. And so even through the change of seasons, we carry on in our individual social, mindful and spiritual pursuit.

In Mexico and in Mexican communities through the world, The Day of Dead is celebrated on November 2nd.  It is a celebration of life and death. It is unique in the world and serves to honour deceased loved ones and welcome their spirits back to celebrate together with the living. Family altars offering photographs, candles and memorable decorations of the deceased are displayed in homes. Foods and offerings are shared in community gatherings. Parades, ceremonies, and markets highlight those who have passed throughout the year, and all of these encourage a strong connection between the living and the dead.

Also called All Soul’s Day in many Christian denominations around the world November 2nd is a day in which deceased friends and relatives are remembered in various ways such as prayer, intercession, alms, lighting of candles, bringing photos of deceased loved ones to church and visits to cemeteries.

In Canada, November 11th is also an opportunity for remembrance. Remembrance Day is intended to honour the soldiers who lost their lives for the preservation of our freedom. Gathering together to remember is a ritual of respect that we honour each year.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” W.B. Yeats

In the coming month of November we at Gabriola Ecumenical Society continue to create some magic and offer programmes that embrace one truth through many paths. These programmes encourage each of us to try to view life through pure awareness, sharpening our senses, avoiding filters and distortions and exploring possibilities for our own spiritual growth. Being mindful of ego and focussing on the love for ourselves, each other and our universe can only lead to deeper understanding and expanded spiritual growth.

Please check out the events for November on our website and, hopefully we’ll see many of you there!