Naomi of the beautiful blog Coulda Shoulda Woulda sometimes refers to the influence of the Mercury Retrograde on her life. Although I try not to be too swayed by these astrological ideas, I am beginning to understand just exactly what she means, for it seems that not only is Mercury retrograding, and rampaging, through my life, but the planets, in their entirety, are at cross-purposes with me and my family.
The current Mercury Retrograde runs from October 21 to November 10, and I will be glad when it is over 🙂 However, even though Mercury is supposedly responsible for making plans go awry during this period, it is also meant to be an excellent time to reflect on the past, review projects, remain flexible and, I am guessing, generally ‘wait your patience.”
So, here are a few reflections on what has gone awry and what has not and what it all might mean.
On Oct 26th, my sister-in-law ‘lost’ her 92 year old father to good, old age, and our entire extended family ‘lost’ a dear friend, and the world lost one of its best citizens. When you have known someone for a long time, through ups and downs and all the vagaries of life, it’s hard to find enough words to explain that relationship and what that person means to you. Invariably a long life becomes shortened and condensed in to a few small, but significant, words; and ,for me, these words are goodness, generosity, service and laughter and compassion; and not in the constrained and limited sense of their meaning but in a larger than life, boundless, all encompassing sense. Take each word and stretch it as far as you can and you will have some idea of the wonderful, wondrous man we affectionately called “Uncle” Doug. Farewell, dearest Uncle Doug; travel well through the heavens, as you did here on earth.
On November 4, my mother, who is 91, was unable to walk for the first time since she learned to do so, some 90 years ago. Despite a good diet and daily, much-loved walks, my mother has, in recent years, been increasingly troubled by osteoporosis. This week, osteoporosis won its wicked, hurtful battle and my mother has had to accept that life without a wheelchair may now be the norm. Whilst the current situation was inevitable, we all hoped against hope that it wouldn’t happen. Not yet, not yet. Yet it has, and, somehow, we all have to find the strength to cope and make the most of *what is*.
November 5 was Guy Fawkes Night . It would also have been my maternal grandfather’s 119th birthday. Each year, when the fireworks start skyrocketing all over the neighbourhood, we joke that our grandfather’s birthday party has begun. When my grandfather was little he probably did think the fireworks were for him, but, later in life, when he grew to hate loud noises, and anything associated with violence, he, like us, no doubt wondered why we continue to celebrate an occasion with origins so far removed from our shores; one that honours ‘gun powder, treason and plot’ and vengeance. Ghastly! My grandfather, like Uncle Doug, was one of the world’s good people; he was a gentle man; a man of loving kindness and peace.
And speaking of peace, at the end of this year’s Mercury Retrograde we will come to November 11th, Armistice (Remembrance) Day, where at the 11th hour we will remember a day and a time, when planets, politicians and people aligned together, once more, and the awry became the all right again.
“Army regulations allow the wearing of a small rose on uniform on Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday, in a similar manner to which poppies are worn on Anzac Day.” Both my grandfather and Uncle Doug were soldiers.