When the veil thins on October 31, we remember those who are on the other side. We play with the idea of death. Does it terrify? Does it connect us with those we can no longer see, feel, touch?
Children come to our doors and ask for treats (the threat of tricks isn't real, not anymore). Or is it? That's part of the fun. Give me something sweet or I will give you something frightening?
Life itself has been thoroughly frightening this last year and a half. We have been compulsive about germs, viruses. And rightly so. We knew so little about the terror facing us. Now we can see that some of our rituals to protect us were not quite on target. We sanitized everything. And it turned out that the air we shared was the thing that was most dangerous. Airborne pathogens. Nothing, really, is more terrifying. Unseen enemy, carried by children, friends, relatives. Without intention, without malice.
And we faced other airborne terrors, too. From our persistent media that can so easily spread, through the air, information that is twisted, malicious, and destructive.
But tonight we had a little slice of normalcy. A little slice of neighbor visiting neighbor, secure in the fact that a good share of us have been vigilant, have done what we can to protect ourselves and others. And for a time, we feel like we can safely breathe, safely interact, safely enjoy each other's company.
Tonight I thought of my mother as I ate a bite or two of Butterfinger candy, her favorite. And I thought that if I had such a thing as bacon drippings and rye bread, I might eat that in honor of my father. Simple little pleasures. Tasty, comforting. Happy memories.
I hope you had some happy memories too, tonight. And some fun. Let's all move towards more.