• Posted: Oct 31, 2010 11:05:38
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In the U.S., the last day of October is a special day, mostly for children, but for all of us. It is an acknowledgement of a reality many dread, the transition from warmth and light to cold and dark, from abundance to sparsity, from life to death. The fruits of harvest are often shared with those who come begging for goodies to last the winter. Tricks are played on those unwilling to share. Fires are set so that all may have a source of warmth. Uneatable corpses of all kinds are burned so that sickness does not spread. Masks appear to remind us cruel and uncharitable souls may never find peace from torment, even after death. The full moon rises. Mists snake in across the fields. Darkness falls. And it is not hard to imagine unsettled alienated spirits, ogres, and witches gathering, curious about the warmth and scent of the glowing fires that bind us into sharing communities.
For children, it's an especially confusing and scary time. For many of the young ones, it is their first exposure to the reality of death, and it's a disturbing experience. Funny costumes, candy, and games temper the experience, turn aside the underlying fear, but the reality remains. Things do not last. We do not last. There is no guarantee of safety, food, warmth. We must reconcile with our fellows to make it through the cold and darkness of winter.
In another two days, U.S. citizens vote. I remind you: there is no guarantee of food, safety, warmth. We must reconcile with our fellows to make it through the unforgiving cold and darkness of winter.
Saturday, October 27th, 1990