On Tuesday, November 1st, in Bavaria we had a feast day - "Allerheiligen" = All Saints' Day".
In Germany each state can decide whether you have a feast day or have to go to work. When I lived in Mainz, utterly Catholic, I had 5 more free days on which I had not to work - in the same job, same federal employer, same salary - than in Hamburg, utterly protestant.
The Flying Dutchman is perplexed by the fact that Church still has very much influence in Germany - in the Netherlands not even Sunday is a day of rest: on Sunday you can go and shop. Honestly: I am glad that Sunday gives us a pause in many regards.
Wednesday, November 2nd, Mexico celebrates "Dia de Muertos" - but that hasn't any influence on me.
These gloomy days might look like an explanation why I ordered a book via Amazon: "A Year to Live" by Stephen Levine.
But no - I wasn't morbid or depressed - our October and the begin of November was full of sunshine, high temperatures and beautiful colours. And I am fit and feel fine (better knock on wood!)
Thus I surprised myself (I am glad I can still do that!) by ordering that book.
Surprised - because if you know me you would know that I shun themes concerning death as much as the devil shuns the holy water, as a saying in Germany goes.
I do not like cemeteries nor funerals.
So - why interest in that book? And why did I sent it back so quickly?
Well, it was so different from what I expected - more on the esoteric instead of the philosophic side, too much of the "mindfulness"-direction.
Yet I do love the title.
I started to think on my own, without that book. To think that all you have for living is one year - 365 days - that is fascinating. (And maybe quite realistic - knock, knock, knock) What would I do in this year? What is important to me? Who is important to me? How not to waste time with bores, unnecessary chores, pointless anger - but bathing in love, meaning, and beauty, in sunshine? What would I like to clear/heal as long as I still am able?
And: what will I have to do to leave no chaos behind me?
In Berlin I have a fantastic little book:
"Dostadning: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" by Margareta Magnusson.
As you see: I will stay true to myself. My son would say - smiling a bit patronisingy: "Typical Mama - "How To"-Books till the end!" :-)