Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. There is something magical about this time of year, and even more interesting to me are the origins of the celebration. As the days shorten, and nights lengthen, a primordial instinct still resonates within us, and we prepare to endure the mysterious darkness of winter. Today marks a colorful, festive day to embrace those fears, turning them into humor, creativity, and playfulness, in sometimes the most child-like of ways.
So as I chuckle at the witches, vampires, politicians, and other pop-culture costumes, I’m reminded of my ancestors, crafting their own masks and garbs to don in the once chilly months of October and November. I try to use this time to reflect upon the year, the great harvests (successes) and the tragic blights (failures). These past 6 months have been especially emotional for me, sifting through haunting memories while facing the frightening unknowns.
I try to remind myself that after the darkest night, will come the longest day. Summer shall return, with Persephone and other famous folklore heroines, arising from the underworld and bringing light and life to the earth once again. Until then, we can only stare into the darkness and observe the beauty of the shadows and stars.