Halloween has always been special to me.
A night of dreams and horror coming together in a twilight dance for both young and old alike. It’s a night where we honor our pagan traditions and celebrate how those have evolved with us. There is a beauty to parents joining their children out in the neighborhoods, among their neighbors, sharing words and candy, laughter and juvenile scares. We have many holidays throughout the calendar year but there is something about Halloween that it different, that it is about the young hearts that beat within us all and the young people of our communities. A time for kids to be kids, to spread their creative wings, and to take back the night from the terrors of adults.
The streets line with cherry eyes and the giggling howls of children. Somewhere in the darkness families are sharing their own traditions, pulling memories from the night like guts from a pumpkin. Terrors and monsters roam the shadows and stories of near-misses with the dead will be shared between school children on November first. They will be the ones that got away, though the ghosts and goblins will know their names and be waiting for them next year.
The corruption of the day comes from adults. Not the pranks and the meanness natural to the young as they find their voices, no, it is the adults that force themselves on the night. The adults that can’t let the night be what it is, a playful celebration of darkness. Adults that act dangerously, foolishly, hatefully, and become the real monsters roaming the gloom. The adults that pull at the night like it were made of taffy, trying to take it for themselves alone when it is a night for the young, and those young at heart. It’s the adults that add the rules, and that have not added to the night but have taken from it – creating side events, limiting where and how and when kids and go out, and refusing to give out candy at all. Adults not giving candy out at all is what aggravates me the most since most of us benefited from Halloween as kids but now turn our lights off to the kids of today. Yeah, there are a million reasons why that could be but there’s also the obvious – that adults are too caught up in themselves to take part, in kids or the community. It’s what the nation has become, unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there are trunk or treat evens but those are meant as much to usurp the power of the night as much as they are to participate in it.
I have so many memories of Halloween, so much warmth associated with this night. This year though, this year I have chosen to sit it out. With everything going on this year it makes sense to let one pass by, something I haven’t really done in ages. It seems better to spend the evening in rumination and introspection rather than to force it.
I have had my dance in the graveyard of the jack-o-lanterns and for now, I am OK to sit this round out.