Ancestral memories

I am writing this on the eve of October 31st, which since a small child I have associated with dressing up & getting bags of sweets from the entire neighbourhood. In fact, my daughter is out there now doing just that.
As I was born in the USA I spent my first few years trick or treating just like any other American child. Then I was unceremoniously packed off to boarding school at the age of 11, so I didn’t resurface to enjoy this annual event again for around 7 years.
By that time it was Halloween parties, dressing up with lots of makeup and getting drunk.
After a few years of this, I moved on with my life, became a mother, and then I started to see all of this from ‘the other side’…
What did it all mean, really?
Why are horror movies so important? Or sweets, collected in plastic pumpkins?
By the time I had my second child I had formed my own set of opinions on this ‘holiday’.
Now many people will already know about the Gaelic festivals, about Samhain, and about the pagan origins of this dark moon cross quarter festival. Or perhaps you are more familiar with the Christian version – All Hallows Eve – when Saints and loved ones are remembered.
Either way, there is no real reason to have turned this into quite such a secular and consumerist occasion, but thats where we are folks.
So I do my little bit to try to remind the children that come round what they could also be thinking of – in between gulping handfuls of (pesticide-covered-plastic-wrapped-palm-oil-filled) sweets.
Light a candle. Take a minute. Remember where you came from. Those people that came before, the ones that struggled with their own problems to make sure you can be here. Now. To eat these sweets!
No biggy – no blame – I’m not into that. Just a gentle reminder, and a little injection of meaning into this annual masquerade.

Here’s a pic of my needlefelted pumpkins and mini witch!

halloween