Fall is an essential hallmark at the end of each year in Wisconsin. The air gets crisp, children are getting bored in school as they anticipate winter break. Fall officially symbolizes the close of the summer. We can hear the crunch of leaves below our feet as we walk throughout the day. “Fall back,” shortens our days that in turn lengthens our nights. We leave our home in the darkness of the morning and when we return at night we find the darkness again. The life of the summer foliage and harvest are gone leaving barren land.
I was thinking about Halloween this past weekend. Why do people get so excited about Halloween? In the beginning Halloween, All Hallows Eve or All Saints Eve, was about celebrating those who have died. Have we lost the meaning of Halloween? Celtic and Pagan celebrate “All Hallows Eve mourning for the loss of the elder god who would die that day so that he could be reborn again at Yule. The Pagan tale is that all would be lost to darkness as the old god returned to the land of the dead. The god would await rebirth on the day of the winter solstice or the shortest day of the year. Is this an end that marks a beginning?.
Maybe the end is always the beginning of something new? I suppose Trick or treat is to Halloween, as champagne is to New Years Eve? New Years Eve is the last day of the year as we wait to count down midnight to ring in the next New Year.
When we get lost in the candy, costumes, and all the tricking or treating, pause for a moment and remember to celebrate what we have lost as we begin anew in the cycle of our existence. The end of one part of our life is reason to celebrate what is about to come next.