Halloween must be one of the more important holidays in the American psyche. I see the retail stores have been bringing out all the fine accoutrements of scariness for several weeks, and one of my neighbors has already turned their front porch into a spook house entrance. I tend to step away from the commercialism that goes on with this odd day of the year. For most of our holidays, the marketing that follows along with them has removed the original intent and emotion that our predecessors wanted to preserve.
I enjoy the autumn season for its somberness, for the partial darkness that drapes the sky and earth. In gardens around town, I see mounds of ripened vegetables resting on top of the ground after the green vines have stopped pumping nutrients into them, the squash and pumpkins reflecting the colors of an October sky. The local produce stand at the end of Main Street has stacks of head-shaped vegetables greeting me at the front door. I see people buy them so they can carve a face into them, but I like just the simple and elegant curves and bulges, the dimpled and smoothed surfaces. I don’t need to see them in the light of jagged teeth and triangled eyes. When misshapen mouths have been cut into them, I cannot give them my silent listen.
Even though a glint of darkness slowly covers my part of the earth, I sense that now is the time to look for a different kind of growth. What wonderful things in the hearts and minds of the people will be harvested this fall? Why fall back on traditions borne out of fear and superstition when I have been given the ability to see the world anew? Why tattoo my consciousness with a dark ink that holds me to the past? The universe urges me to move forward and fill my mind for only a moment with what is no longer alive.
The other day I took a walk on the beach in the late afternoon. Large piles of driftwood have piled up at New Brighton. I found a comfortable eucalyptus log to back up against while viewing the fall colors that are in the sky and that bounce in echo across the water. The angle of sunlight has yellowed the look of our outer sphere. Even though the sky goes more dim this time of year, I expect the seasonal change to bring me a new joy. I may see a few days where I experience some winter melancholy, but I have divine books to read that lift my spirit.
I hide myself inside a costume all year round, and string a mask over my ears so nobody can find the true me. If I further hide my inward self for the month of October, how will that help me prepare for the days ahead of brevity and obscured light? I would rather strip away from myself all that is dead and dark, to help me better live by the light that shines within. Anything else feels monstrous.