Though I haven't any children of my own, I always enjoy Hallowe'en. When my sisters and I were small, the day was magical. Even now, if I close my eyes and think back, I can hear the sound of children screeching with fear and delight as they run from house to house, smell the scent of dry leaves crunching underfoot, and taste the rich hot chocolate offered by an elderly neighbour. The night always felt so safe and so dangerous at the same time. Safe because we were well-loved children living in a close-knit caring community. Dangerous because oft-repeated stories of razor blades in apples and knife-wielding boogie men filled us with fear.
Much as I enjoy Hallowe'en, I've often wished it was more like Mexico's Day of the Dead, when families take time from their normal routines to remember and celebrate loved ones who've passed away. It strikes me the celebration must make death and dying feel more normal and less final somehow - one more transition in the cycle of life with bonds of love remaining to keep the departed close in spirit.
After we've said goodnight to the last of the trick-or-treaters this evening, I plan to pour a glass of wine, light a candle then spend some quiet time remembering family and friends who've gone before me, wishing them well on their journeys and praying we meet again one day - in my dreams, if no place else.
Happy All Hallow's Eve!
Don't forget to check back here tomorrow for the first installment of my Creative November Challenge.