It’s Halloween..all hallow’s eve…the night before All Saints Day.
This night was right up there with Christmas Eve when I was a kid. Trick or Treating at night was fodder for the imagination—trees sprung to eerie life, ghosts and bats abounded, and witches flew past the moon.
The next day, we would don our patron saint costumes for a Catholic version of Trick or Treat. The day began with Mass, since All Saints Day was a holy day of obligation. After a rigorous academic workout, the treating began!
It was the following day that caused me consternation. November 2 is celebrated in Christianity as All Soul’s day. It was a somber day of remembering the dead and praying for their souls. No costumes, no candy, not much fun at all.
As an adult, I have come to love these three days as one movement of the celebration of and confrontation with death and the afterlife. Trick or Treat and it’s delightful costuming still tickles my imagination. Watching my grandchildren enter into the festivities of imagining themselves in any way they wish cheers my heart.
All Saints and All Souls beat with the pulse of that great concept of the Communion of Saints. I’ve lost enough loved ones now to appreciate that spiritual connection with what has been and what is to come. The Celtic concept of the thin times of Samhain feeds my mystical self.
This is an entire month in which to ponder the end of life, and what follows, but it is especially precious to simply be in the now as the earth is dying down and winter approaches.
It is sacred time.
Rest in the quiet.