Been thinkin’ about…
A Magical Halloween
Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year.
For me, Halloween was a week of spookiness complete with a trip to the dime store for candy and picking out a mask, then home to scare my big sisters (who were often obliging enough to pretend to be frightened).
After sunset we would eat taffy apples and pumpkin pie and rice crispy candy and homemade fudge and big bowls of chili, watch the Disney version of Legend of Sleepy Hollow — you know, the one with Bing Crosby as narrator? — and carve a pumpkin.
We would place the pumpkin on the old elm stump in the backyard, add a candle and hurry back inside. After turning out every light in the house, we’d stand at the dining room window — me on a chair so I’d be tall enough to see — and admire the ghostly orange candle-lit face floating in the darkness. Then we’d turn all the lights back on, pull the heavy red drapes closed, and I’d get somebody to read a Casper comic book to me.
My birthday is only a week later so before the sugar high fully wore off, it was time for cake.
Halloween was my moment to touch a mysterious world that was yet strangely familiar. Surrounded by family and food and light, I was safe. And yet, there was a delicious chill, that moment of unknown. Strange comfort in knowing things beyond the five senses might be lurking. I was somehow the richer for the knowledge.
We live in a world clinical and gray, drained of magic. But when the fall wind rustles the scarlet leaves, when a fox’s scream leaves us breathless, when a cold rain drips over the rocks (and transforms the moss to a magical green), when the swirling mountain fog obscures the ghostly laughing face of a jack o’lantern, there is — once more — a world of color and rich and lavish emotion.
The old Celts believed Halloween was the night the curtain thinned between this old world and the next and opened upon an otherworld filled with a thousand shades of night and a deep and strange enchantment.
Perhaps they were right.