I thought I hated Halloween, because I hate the specter of death, especially in a society that runs away from truly interacting with mortality. It is the worst of both worlds, I thought to myself as I stared at the ghoulish figures at the grocery store. I am surrounded by people who have survived war and death and none of us need to see this stuff. But we moved into a house and our next door neighbors are older and they really like kids and they hang ghosts and devilish creatures from their trees. On Halloween they are so eager to pass out candy and ooh and aah at all the little children. They were worried my daughter might not come, because she had informed them that their yard was too scary. But she screwed up her courage and went, and everyone was delighted. This morning it is cold and gray and everyone who walks to school walks by my house and our neighbors. The decorations are still up, but they will be packed away soon, and a part of me feels sad. Those ghosts in the trees, I realize now, were a signal all month long, a flare in the dim neighborhood sparking bright and red, hoping for community to come knocking on its lonely doors, preferably dressed in cute costumes.
For the month of November a thought or two of mine will get written down here every day. Who knows how much sense it will make? I want to practice being grateful in the presence of a suffering world. Join me?