All our fruit trees have dedication plaques in memory of loved ones who have passed through the veil. We decided to hold a memorial gathering for everyone to come along and spend some time in reflection and thanks for those who have been part of our lives, whether they have a dedication plaque, or not.
At this time of the year, we are well into the time when leaves are falling; nature is starting to hunker down for the winter and death and decay is in almost all around that we see in the natural world; the northern hemisphere spirals towards the darkest times. It is therefore a highly appropriate time for remembrance and thanksgiving, as losing a loved one can be one of the darkest moments in our lives.
Thirty-three of our local community gathered around the fire as we began the time of remembrance, recalling that the Eternal One is with us and all around us, even in the darkness.
Then we moved to the outdoor classroom where we floated fallen leaves upon the water, symbolic of remembering our fallen ones and handing them over to the Divine to look after and care for.
A time of sharing stories of hope and healing followed and a big thanks to those who contributed to this, either by poetry or through storytelling.
After that, everyone was able to hang a light in, or at the base of, their tree and spend some time in personal reflection, thanks and prayer. By the end of this time, every tree in the orchard had a light, shining in the darkness, illuminating the orchard like a starlit sky.
We gathered back together, sang a Taizé song, and then had a final blessing, followed by hot drinks and squash for those who stayed behind.
Many positive comments were made, saying it was a valuable time for them to be able to have some quality time remembering their loved ones.
A big thank you to everyone who came and were a part of this, from coming to the light making workshop, and / or attending the memorial gathering itself.