At our house, we start getting ready for Halloween as soon as we turn the calendar page over from September.
Auntie Bridgett brings down the decorations from storage, and we get to say hello to old friends we have collected over the years.
There is The Assistant, who hangs on our balcony and turns in the wind. We got him about ten years ago. He has graced parties and yards and always gives me a start.
But some of our spooky goodies are much older. This wonderful light-up witch was painted by Auntie Bridgett’s Mom Donna about forty-three years ago.
Our taste in Halloween decorations is not gory. We don’t go in for blood or guts. We like ghosts that are cheerful or at most pensive, not tormented. We like the notion that spirits hang around at this time of year, but not that they have evil intentions.
I guess if I thought ghosts could be evil, I wouldn’t love visiting cemeteries as much as I do. Lone Fir never feels sad to me, although there have been many sad funerals there, I am sure.
But the dead are past all that. If they do watch us, it must be from a philosophical position of “well, that’s interesting,” or “those poor people, they just can’t understand.”
Maybe that’s why I love Halloween. Besides the pretty colors and cooler temperatures, costumes and candy, it lets me play with the ideas of living and dead, here and gone, timely life and the timeless beyond. It thins the veil, as they say, between worlds.