Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts about Halloween

In the midst of the changing seasons, when summer gives way to colder weather, comes that peculiar celebration called Halloween. Halloween, with its customs and costumes, mocks the Grim Reaper and Father Time. It is the night when all disquieting things, decay, fear, horror, disfigurement and our essential vulnerability, are held in check.

And who performs this mocking?

Mainly children, who laugh at the scariness of long shadows, gruesome faces and dark cold nights.

Led by our children, Halloween allows us all to rise above nature, with its cycle of life and death and, for one night, laugh in its face.

Our kids on Halloween night become the Grim Reaper; they become Father Time. By identifying with symbols of horror, they overcome fear and become, for a short time, bigger than decay, bigger than death. Our imagination triumphs over the forces of fear and darkness.

In the end, Halloween turns from a night of horror to a night of joy and treats. The pleasure of life chases away the fear of death. For adults, the treat is that we get to witness yet another generation of children who take pleasure in this dark magical night.

There is something in the cycle of nature that does allow us to have a modest victory in the end. It is that our seed, our ideas, our passion, our imagination and our goodness do get carried on by generations going forward. This is our immortality. This is our mocking and our truest response to the cycle of life and death.

Happy Halloween

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