A walk in the woods…

How time flies! It is hard to imagine that a year has gone by since I wrote about Halloween, and the celebrations of All Saints and All Souls.

Well, a year did go by, and the lights in our hand-carved pumpkin went out late last night, after the busiest Halloween night I can ever remember. Perhaps trick-or-treating is finally beginning to get hold after all. All I can say is that I was very pleased to have a bag full of sweets and mini chocolate bars handy in the house – otherwise a lot of tricks would have been played out on our doorstep. ūüôā

all saints day slovakia.jpg

All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day

More importantly though Рtoday is All Saints’ Day, followed hot on its trail by All Souls’ Day tomorrow, when those who have departed but not yet reached their place in heaven are remembered all over Europe.

Local traditions vary from country to country and many are age-old customs, handed down from generation to generation. All over Europe people visit the graves of loved ones who have departed.  In western Europe it is customary to place flowers on graves, while in large parts of Central and Eastern Europe people will also clean graves thoroughly. They will rake the gravel path carefully when leaving, so as not to leave footprints for bad spirits to follow. Thousands of candles are lit all over the cemeteries, which take on a beautiful, atmospheric look as darkness sets in. As I have gathered more and more friends in Central and Eastern Europe, I have become increasingly aware of this poignant way of remembering those we miss. And so I do remember, in my own way.

RIMG0075.JPGA walk in the woods

It was a beautiful day in England today – we had none of the snow that is causing havoc on the east-coast of America and neither did we have the rain that is causing floods in other parts of the globe. Instead, we had blue skies and glorious sunshine – a perfect day for a walk in the wood to contemplate the year gone by. Autumn this year has been particularly rich in colour – the leaves have gradually turned from green to their many shades of gold, red and browns and the lack of autumn storms has meant that the colours have stayed longer than usual.



As we walked through the woods, I thought of those we have lost in the past year: some well before their time and each one dearly missed still. I turned my thoughts to all my friends who have suffered similar losses and who, like us all, are struggling to come to terms with their sadness. There has been too much sorrow this year for many of us, but human tragedy can also brings people closer together, as we support each others in difficult times.

Whether you have lost someone dear to you, or whether you are supporting somebody going through hard times, I do hope that you have found some peace on this day of remembrance. Be assured that you are all in my thoughts.

Annemieke Waite is a freelance travel writer who specialises in writing for families and young people about EU travel destinations.

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  1. Aleida Brinkman
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    powerful story

  2. An
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    A year full of grief, sorrow and sadness, indeed. But a year that proved to stand strong in friendship, companionship and the power of shared belief in a better future, no matter from which perspective.

  3. Brian Staines
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Really thought provoking
    Sad and happy same time.
    Lovely to read

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