THAT is the question.
as most of you (six or so) know, i am jamaican. and when i was growing up, halloween was pretty much unheard of. there was no trick or treating or jack-o-lanterns; there were certainly no costumes and candy! i think i first heard a vague reference to halloween when i was in my early or pre-teens. seriously. and as i got older and evenutally moved to america - land of the 'ween - i decided to learn more about the history and origins of this celebration. (notice, i am not calling it a holiday because holiday is really a contraction of 'holy-day' which halloween most certainly is not).
admittedly, this was quite a while back and i never really took any strong stance on the thing except to say that i didn't think it was really 'for me', as it were. but then when i was working for corporate america in retail i was required to dress up and so wore mouse ears and a tail and drew whiskers on my face. and i thought, this isn't so bad. it's kind of fun to dress up. and the mouse costume survived many more years than i care to admit. (actually i think the ears are still tucked away someplace dark and musty as i type.) then after i moved here (nassau) i got invited to a halloween party and was thrilled at the opportunity to be cool and social and to dress up too! nathan and i went as a puerto rican gangsta and an indian girl (curry spice) and we had a blast.
so as you can see i've been on the fence; rather on both sides of the thing. but now that i have kids and every year it comes up and i try to decide where i stand i end up being sort of wishy washy and doing the costume thing. let me clarify - the first year my friend quickly threw together a long white gauzy dress and i made copper wire & tissue paper wings and lauryn was an angel. the second year i was loaned (loaned?) a bumble bee costume which i didn't end up using because it rained that night. and now it's the third year and i am feel more strongly that i do not want to participate.
i just found this breif history here: http://www.history.com/minisites/halloween/viewPage?pageId=713
so, we've been invited to a small party for kids and as much as i know i would enjoy the dress up aspect of it, i really feel like the time has come for me to stand somewhere and stay there. and right now i am standing on the side of the fence that does NOT observe this celebration.
i feel this is for me is not so much of a religious decision but more of a parenting mode. i always tell lauryn that monsters are pretend and nothing to be afraid of. i have not discussed ghosts with her but she's heard of them at school i am not prepared at the moment to have this conversation with her about the whole deal. (let's face it, people, weather you've encountered them or not, there ARE spirits out there.) celebrations and festivities for me should be about life and joyful things - not scary, dead, unknowns. (why the jack-o-lantern? and the skulls, the witches etc.?). i can't tell her in one breath there is nothing to be scared of and then in another breath celebrate these self same 'scary' things. feels a bit wobbly to me.
so, not to 'ween. that is the answer. thanks for processing with me.
silence | clarity | peace