The flicker of candle in pumpkin. The giggle of costumed children wandering from door to door. Horror movies on every channel. Skulls in the windows of every store. A childish mirth on everyone’s lips. Normal lives cast aside. Fear and darkness in the air.
Finally, it’s here. The most beautiful day in the long and arduous calendar, the final bonfire before winter’s grimness overtakes us. It’s Halloween.
For some, Halloween is a revel in all things diabolical and disturbing. For others, it’s a day for cutting loose, letting one’s wild side emerge. And for still more people, it’s a day on which we can remember what it was to be a child, and celebrate the traditions of a time we’ve forgotten that maybe never existed at all.
However it’s celebrated, Halloween remains one of our most vital cultural landmarks, a necessary indulgence in a side of humanity that doesn’t get exercised nearly enough. Just as the winter holidays are much-needed prompts for us to share in one another’s warmth, so Halloween is a reminder that in the face of the year’s end, we must partake in the madness and shadow that lurks in the hearts of our fellow humans.
As any of my readers have noticed, the last month on The Middle Child has been dedicated to this greatest of all holidays. Now that the day is finally upon, it is almost bittersweet. On the one hand, it is finally the day I love more than anything else in the world; on the other, after today it will be many long months before we can once again dedicate ourselves to night and fire.
But let’s worry about that tomorrow. Tonight, we dance with Death. May your facepaint be not smeared. Let your party go uninterrupted. May your dreams be filled with ghosts and your cup with blood.
From the darkest corners of my blackened heart, a happy Halloween to you all.