Halloween is a season in its own right, much different than the “Holiday Season” or “Christmas season” people speak so fondly of. I have nothing against the “happy holidays”. Thanksgiving and Christmas bring thoughts of warm homes and hot ovens. Tables laden with heaping dishes of steaming wonderflality surrounded by people who love each other or can at least pretend they do for an afternoon. Great things all, but what you see is what you get. Warmth, love and togetherness are all right out in the open and they are all that exist during such festivals, except perhaps within the confines of the most dysfunctional of homes. Independence day causes chests to swell with patriotic pride and bellies to swell with the scorched meat of butchered pigs.
But Halloween! Here, my friend, is a holiday that has no equal. It is celebrated in the dark, which sets it apart from all others if you also consider that it suggests a darkness of spirit as well as the darkness of night, and in these darknesses dark creatures conspire with one another to accost bearers of treats with thinly veiled, however generally friendly, demands. On the surface, it would seem that darkness is the theme, evil the palpable strain that lures otherwise good people to partake in devilry for a night.
Unlike the “happy holidays” however, Halloween has layers. For what lures the witches and the living dead from the blackness of the streets? Why, it is light! And what, after spotting the light and reaching its source, is the reward for leaving the darkness? Treats! Sweet morsels that extol the virtue of following the illuminated path. And what do the children express when a few candies are dropped into their bags or buckets or pillowcases? Excitement and gratitude! Smiles shine from painted faces! Masks contort as the masqueraders beneath utter their “Thank You”s and “Happy Halloween”s! Out of the seeming darkness pours happiness and good manners!
For me the mystery is the most amazing part. Halloween wears as its costume a shroud of darkness, yet as it pulls back its cowl, we receive in the place of the skeletal visage we expected, a warm and comforting smile. How bizarre! Even in attempting to celebrate a dark holiday, the inherent goodness of humankind shines through, inextinguishable even as we flirt with a temporary dimming of this internal light.
It is my hope that all your dark days reveal themselves to be miniature Halloweens.
And now I bid you Adieu and a don’t.
Adieu…forgive me this brief excursion into sappy territory.
A don’t…drive the darkness completely from your life. It serves to remind us of the sweetness of the light.