It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Halloween is about an evening of fun and excitement. It makes a new neighborhood friendlier and makes children less likely to be afraid of the Boogie Man. You put your pajamas on underneath your costume so you are ready for "crashing" after all the activities...., then Dad tells you it's not time yet and you have to wait for everyone to go together, so you let your Noni take some pictures of you.
(please click on photos for close-ups)
You pose for your Grandma..., and you pose.., and you POSE. Then you sing a song, that you just made up, about saving people from a burning buildings and how Fireman are the greatest. Then you start giggling about something with your brother and the photo shoot is, basically, over with. And finally.....
Here we go....
"See you later Noni."
....,and so, as I wait for some children to come to the door, I waved goodbye to my two beans and watched them leave the house on Halloween with the excitement that I remember having when I was a little girl. The street is the same..., the trees are much bigger, you can't see Mt. Diablo from the porch anymore because of them. It has been 50 some years since I ventured out into the Autumn evening with my friend Dawn and the other neighborhood kids on this street. The first few years I held my mother's hand, too. Then, when I got older , one parent would take all of us. We would run around like little Flash Gordon's, going from house to house, with our pillowcases dragging behind us..., seeing who could get to the next house first.
"Trick or treat"..., hold your bag out, feel it become a little heavier..., "Thank you." and run like the wind to the next house. It was a rite of passage each year. Learning to be braver, faster, maybe going a little further.
Then..., getting home and counting how many pieces you have..., and sorting all the candy by size, or color. Trading some of it. Having them check the candy for strange unwrapped ones. Sharing some with Mom and Dad. Sometimes sharing with a sick brother or sister who couldn't go with you. Learning when too much candy in your stomach is really too much. Oh, the fun of it all.....
For all of you that don't let your children participate in this holiday, I can only say.., this is your choice. I don't believe that it's about worshiping evil or giving the devil strength. It's about giving and sharing happiness and treating your neighbor with goodwill and kindness. It's about happy little faces that learn to understand that receiving something from others can be a "windfall", but not without some effort and a "Thank you" at the end. It's a happy tradition that gives a child many wonderful memories. It's about family, goodwill and two little boys who are on a safe journey with their parents. It's a legacy of love that continues on this lovely street in Pleasant Hill, California.