Halloween is one of my two all time favorite holidays of the year. I don't have any particular fond memories of Halloween's past but I don't have any specific bad memories either. No, one reason I love Halloween so much is I'm able to act a bit more like a child with some of my favorite people in the world, my children. When I was young I did miss out on a lot of being a child being the oldest with two alcoholic parents. I've really worked out that issue from my past more or less but it is a marvelous treat for me when I can retrieve a bit of that lost childhood.
Our neighborhood does an extra special Halloween too! We live out in the country in a kind of big circle. The day before Halloween we all get together at one house to socialize and eat pot luck dinner then we all load up in little flatboard trailers for a hay ride around the circle. Since most of our driveways are so long everyone who wants to participate puts a little table out by the road with a big bowl full of goodies. We slowly go from one table to the next laughing as the stampede of children leap from the hay and their excited crows of delight as they discover what's in each bowl. They get plenty of candy but then they still have the option of going elsewhere on Halloween proper to trick or treat if they wish.
On the one hand I truly love our neighborhood but I also dread the pot luck part of the evening. I don't really know anyone there, though I've met a few of them two or three times briefly now, and feel horribly shy, scared, and awkward. But the hayride part of the evening and seeing the children's bright eyes and huge grins make it all worth any discomfort. I really work at these special times of year to make sure that my children will have fond holiday memories to look back on. Hmm, not that I don't work to make every day special but...you know what I mean!
Another reason this holiday is so special to me is because it's the day we call Samhain. For us this is a day when the division that normally seperates the dead from the living is at it's thinnest so that there's a greater chance of contact between us. It's a day for remembering and honoring those that have passed on like my brother and child (RIP my dear ones). Likewise it is a time to remember that the wheel of life is always turning and so to are the seasons as Winter comes like death to the world. This is the time when the Crone rules all. Her ways seem unbearably cruel sometimes, she's responsible for culling the weak and old, but she also teaches us that the old must make way for the new. She is the end all, be all of true tough love! Samhain is also the very best time of year to "kill" our vices, bad habits, negative feelings, and all within us that is not based and motivated by love.
This is why this is a truly blessed, magickal holiday and very dear to me. Happy Halloween and a blessed Samhain to you all!
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