To me, the entire month of November has always been a solemn month – and a month of remembrance. Religiously speaking, we start the month off with the Feast of All Saints, immediately followed by All Souls. In Mexico, All Souls Day is referred to as Day of the Dead and celebrated in remembrance of all their ancestors who have died over the past years with food and music.

Then the Anglican Church celebrates Remembrance Sunday, while the United States celebrates Veterans Day – the only difference between the two being one is religious while the other is secular; both of which celebrate and remember those who gave their lives during times of war and conflict, both those still living and those who have died.

November, to me, has become a month-long time of remembrance and introspection – for the religious and secular reasons I just mentioned above, but because November also marks the time when nature slows down for her winter’s sleep. The leaves have fallen, the fields have been harvested, and so we now reflect on what the past year has been, what our past years have been, and think on where we go next.

So it’s rather quite fitting that November ends (basically) with Thanksgiving Day in the United States – a day set aside to give thanks to God for the bounty we’ve received (and in so doing, to reflect and remember the past year). It’s probably one of the only federal holidays that is both secular and religious.

That said, let us take the rest of this month to slow down our frenetic lives and reflect: about our past, about those who have touched our lives and are no longer with us in the flesh, about all the good things we’ve received over the past year (and years), and be thankful for all those blessings. From that, we can then focus our attention on what lies ahead with a clear and rested conscience.

Happy Remembrance Month.