Orange pumpkins by the door set off by bins of Christmas lights and wreaths ready to go make this time of year quite festive. A village Hallowe’en recently celebrated must rapidly make way for our night time Christmas parade next weekend. Everyone tries to get a few lights up and hang a wreath or two. There will be pots of chili and hot cider on the stove ready for drop in guests. Families visit together and local service groups provide entertainment for the little ones. The parade route volunteers gather food from the sidelines for the foodbank and donated clothing such as children’s snowsuits . A couple of senior citizens are designated as parade royalty and marshal everyone in their antique cars to the park to visit with Santa in a charming restored pioneer log cabin. Hot chocolate and hotdogs are part of the scene at the beautiful heritage park as everyone gathers for a fun evening.
A few days later, we gather again at the park for Remembrance. There will be several there who know first hand what Remembrance is all about and these are the faces that I can’t help but study. The stories of these people are powerful . I can only try to appreciate the depth of each one and seek some personal reflection on the intensity, grief and sensitivity of those who first hand have experienced things I can’t even imagine. Many of us attending can only contribute our quiet respect and do our best to live honourably.
There is a fine monument in our park and names are engraved there. That is what I know. I will silently stand there in a few days and be part of the gathering.