I feel so lucky because I get to write a post that is actually posting on Halloween!
So I sit down to write it, and I get a little stuck. Not writer’s block exactly, just a little unclear on my message.
Because what is Halloween? It’s a holiday that I have loved all my life.
The how and why has evolved.
As a kid, I loved the anticipation and preparation for the holiday. Picking a costume. Carving the pumpkin. Making pumpkin seeds.
Then on the day, I loved the excitement of walking around in the dark with flashlights, feeling anonymous in a costume and ringing doorbells of people who were so delighted to see me that they gave me candy!
As a teen, well, I don’t remember. Thank goodness I don’t remember much from then. I’m sure I thought I was too cool for Halloween.
In college, I went to my first ever party on Halloween and had my first beer and was thrown into my first pool. It was amazing, and started my college and grad school tradition of great costumes, great friends and great parties.
When I got my first real home – out of school – it became my favorite time of year to decorate and really claim my home. I loved being one of the people who was delighted to see kids come to my door.
When I started working in the wine business I really began to understand the rhythms of the earth and what harvest really is. I became entrances with the seasons, equinoxes and the pagan roots of the holiday, which are all about the cycle of life and the new year.
Then, in 1999 my brother died in early October, my father died in November and my grandfather died in December. The following year, I came to appreciate the aspect of observance and remembrance – because I had some hallowed souls of my own that I really, really wanted to observe. At that time, my understanding was mostly based in loss.
My mom also died in October. She was able to be an organ donor, and that really completes the circle of life for me. We celebrated Día de los Muertos the year that she died by honoring her life, putting up a photo and article at the community center.
Layers upon layers of meaning, evolving into a rich personal tradition. That’s life, right?
I still love to decorate and carve pumpkins and make pumpkin seeds and give things out to kids who knock on the door…things like vegemite packets and toothpaste and soap and shampoo samples that I collect all year long. Someone’s got to put the trick back in…might as well be the witch in the house with all the windchimes!
And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love and light, Maggie
p.s. I still do 1 on 1 coaching and have a couple of spaces right now. If you’d like to explore what that looks like, shoot me an email and we can set up a time to talk: firstname.lastname@example.org
I understand writing is a process, but it’s still fascinating to me that such a rich, engaging post included feeling stuck toward the beginning. You’d never know from the finished product. Talk about evolution! I really enjoyed the breadth and perspective of this piece. Great sharing. Thanks Maggie. OX