Ghosts of Halloween

November 1, 2012

Halloween. Always one of my absolutely fave holidays. No emotional strings attached, no gifts to buy (well ok,candy), no commitments to keep and best of all, you get to dress up and take on a whole new fantastic persona! On Halloween everyone can be a child, everyone can participate. Driving to work yesterday, I saw two people walk by wearing enormous skulls, several princesses rushing to make the bus with their gowns held high above their ankles to avoid the puddles left from Hurricane Sandy, a witch or two and a crazy old scientist (actually, come to think of it – he might not have been in costume…).

However – all this Pumpkin, Face Paint and Candy joy aside…this was my first sad Halloween.

For the first time in 20 years I did not have to rush around and create a costume for anyone…my youngest daughter had decided that she was too old this year to go out trick or treating. W-H-A-T? I mean, I get that, sometimes you reach an age where you just don’t feel like it anymore…but what about me? What was I supposed to do on our favorite holiday? For me, there was nothing I loved better than walking up and down the streets in our neighbourhood, which is like a lovely small town in the heart of a big cosmopolitan city. Everyone in my neighbourhood has a pumpkin – in fact most homes have several carved pumpkins, all lit and glowing a soft orange, guiding you up the pathway to the door. Houses are ornately decorated – each one more festive than the next. Lights, music, theatrics; and there is even one house that has a table set up on the front law for parents, with a big coffee maker, cups and cream and sugar for a little refreshment to go. I have 20 years of memories walking up and down those streets. I’ve seen homeowners change and babies grow into little goblins who now scamper up and down shouting “trick or treat!”

This year – aside from my daughter not feeling like she wanted to trick or treat….it was unusually quiet. We went out together to walk the street to see the costumes and enjoy the kids….but two thirds of the street was dark – no glowing pumpkins, no music…and not too many little goblins either. Maybe the threat of Sandy damped the holiday – who knows? But looking down the dark and almost empty block was like my heart looking into a mirror. I could see the little ghosts of Halloween past – but I couldn’t hear them.

….maybe next year.

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