This morning as I waited for the light at the corner of Common Street and Mt. Auburn, I glanced over at the cemetery. It was a dark but searing morning. Everything about the weather and the light announced in all caps, IT’S NOVEMBER. A hawk sat atop a tree recently stripped of its leaves – You can see it if you look carefully at this photo – motionless and determined to keep vigil over this grey scene.
This was the morning of All Saints Day, when the church remembers all the faithful departed and makes the gob-smackingly audacious claim that those who came before us are kinda still with us. Their witness, their work, their prayers, their participation in the holy work of love reverberate powerfully. It is inaccurate to simply say they are “gone.” They are still at work in us.
I wondered about these tombstones I looked out over as I waited for the light. They honor the “past.” But they also call me to account. What will my legacy be? What warmth and truth will my life radiate so powerfully that my children and my children’s children will find something of hope in them? It may be November, and the weather may be turning wintery, but, like that hawk in the tree, I keep vigil over a world that is more than what it seems, and a landscape that needs my testimony and your testimony and our shared work for good. Happy All Saints.