The value of communication resonated deeply with me recently upon visiting my dear 94-year-old Uncle, now sadly not able to chat because of recent illness. No length of time will bring back the opportunities I missed to ask him questions that I once thought were not important. Family questions that he as the last of the linage could have answered, those silences will remain silent forever.
Communicating silently with my Uncle held so many moments of joy for me, and I felt from the smile on his worn face it did for him too. Precious time. Precious communication through silence. This silence has stayed with me for days, urging me to write, urging me to communicate.
Thinking about communication on a wider scale, or the lack of it, destroys so much. Relationships breakdown, families argue, countries are torn apart, wars are fought. The ability to step outside our own little world is not always easy. We become rigid in our views, attached to concepts, inflexible in our abilities to forgive, dogmatic in our beliefs, firm in our convictions. Yet with even one slight adjustment to move the cog in another direction, communication can change our universe. Communication can allow us a view of other worlds, offer insights to personal dilemmas and alter our journey. What can one do to manifest that all so important moment of communication?
Verbal communication is not always the answer. Acts of kindness and spontaneous actions can surprise, amend and melt hardened hearts. It seems the deeper the thought behind these actions, the greater the movement can be in turning the wheel towards reconciliation. It’s as if the surprise catches us off guard and we relate to our situation differently. And even if this happens for only a moment, that moment has changed a previously held communication pattern and stream of thinking.
Halloween, Samhain in the Celtic Calendar, is known as a time to communicate with the otherworld. The veil of separation at this time weakens and allows us to communicate with the ancestors. Burial grounds are visited. Conversations take place. Communication is strong.
Drawing upon this belief and bringing it into the now, perhaps Samhain can offer us the perfect time to communicate with the living? The friends and family we have lost contact with. The individuals we store differences against. It could be a time to dream up your act of kindness and hand an olive branch to pave the path towards new understanding.
We could use Samhain to sit with the Elders and ask the questions of their history. We can make an effort to travel the ancient ways on this night of celebration and connect with the valuable stories our ancestral history provides.
Samhain 31 Oct | Communicate | Rekindle your Fire