27 October 2013

Samhain Memories

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!

When I was a child Halloween was the best! It was my most favorite holiday. I loved getting dressed up and being someone or something else. I loved the season with it's smells and colors.

My grandparents pretty much raised me for much of my life and we lived next door to them.  As far as I was concerned, they had the best yard in the neighborhood. They had birch trees with paper barks and a dirt area underneath, where I could be in my own world and connect with nature.  There was a large tulip maple that in the summer had flowers, but in the fall was a brilliant, fiery orange. Their neighborhood was lined with large trees and just outside their gate, next to the mailbox, was a gigantic dogwood.

Me with my Mamaw and Papaw 

Their neighborhood was perfect for trick-or-treating. When I was a child, parents brought their children to that neighborhood, if they didn't live in it already.

One year I woke with horrible, horrible kidney infection on Halloween day. I kept those pretty regularly, and I knew what it was when I felt the pain in my back. I think I was around the age of 8 or 9. I woke up that morning with pain, but I didn't say a word because I still wanted to go trick-or-treating. That evening when it was time for the candy collection, I made it halfway around the block before I yelled out in pain. I couldn't move my legs from the pain of it. I stood and cried, with tears and sweat filling my plastic mask. I don't remember how I got back home, but my mother stayed out with my friend that was with me. My friend took my bag with her and told them what happened and my bag was also filled with hers.

I took my own children to that neighborhood years ago to see if it was the same, and sadly it wasn't. There were no children knocking on doors, no laughter, no running through the leaves.

Nowadays, kids are lucky if they get to go neighborhood hunting for candy. It seems that most church people would rather take them to the church trunk-or-treat or to a "harvest party". They seem to have forgotten that Halloween was created by the church and instead tell their members that they should not participate in an evil holiday created by the devil.  The hilarity of it all? They are still dressing up. I've seen pictures of children in costumes dressed as some bloody killer with their fake blood and fake machetes, while at the church harvest party.

I'm not sure how you see Samhain, but I sure as heck do not equate it with ruthless killing and gore. I used to be friends with someone that would have gory Halloween parties, but thought that I was wrong in being a witch, because I was evil in some way. I can't stand scary, gory movies.  I don't like the bloody decorations put out in the stores. The killer clowns, the cutoff legs or hands, the hanging, bloody bodies from trees. That is not how I feel about this time of year.

Oh, I decorate. I love the glittery witch decor. I do have a graveyard in my yard, but there are no zombies or bloody body parts. I have pumpkins, witch brooms, cauldrons, potion bottles, ravens, and owls.

For me, it is remembering my connection with who I am. It is looking back at my growth from the previous year, honoring my grandparents and sister that have moved on from this world. It is feeling and connecting to the energy of this planet that we live on. It is moving forward into a new year and growing from my mistakes and triumphs of the past year.

Today also would have been my Mamaw's birthday :)


Anonymous said...

I love the picture with your Mawmaw and Pawpaw....so sweet! And I agree, I don't know why 'gore' is attributed to Halloween...it certainly doesn't bring any fond memories. I miss the Halloween I knew...a celebration of imagination...neighborhoods full of laughter...and so much candy you felt like you'd discovered the Sierra Madre! Thanks for such a wonderful article...

Loren Morris said...

Yes! I miss seeing children run in decorated streets, laughing with their friends and meeting people. Thank you, Lina! <3