Oh that every day could be Halloween. There is something so special about a night where everyone is out on the street, bumping into friends, talking with neighbors.
The night was dry (amazingly). Somehow the rain had closed shop for that brief amount of time it took to wander from house to house. The kids were excited, running from one front door to the next. So much so that it took a
Halloween buckets spilling its contents to slow them down. Our group grew and receded as new friends joined and younger children slowed. Jack-o-lanterns directed us to the houses ready for visitors, and spooky houses were worth the visit for the extra-large candy they gave out if only you could find courage.
This, to me, was what Halloween was all about; the candy was simply a byproduct. And not even a good one at that. Still, as I discussed with another mom earlier in the day, holidays would not be the same without treats. The knowledge that this one special time we get buckets of candy is part of what makes it thrilling. Even without the candy, though, I would look forward to Halloween night for the pure enjoyment of seeing the neighborhood alive.
Having recently finished re-reading ANNE OF GREEN GABLES I have found the roots of my longing for just this sort of community. I remember that I loved this book as a child. There is nothing as heartwarming as a story of an adopted child, without any sense of belonging, finding a home; meaning not simply the house, but the whole town and the people in it who accepted her.
While we may not all be orphans, perhaps on some level we too are searching for this sense of belonging. I don’t know. I only know it resonates with me and, I hope, in my writing. The next holiday, Thanksgiving, is about
family. This too has attachments to home. It has also inspired many cartoons illustrating why we don’t always find our sense of belonging in this space. http://newyorker.tumblr.com/post/12898464600/a-thanksgiving-cartoon-to-get-you-ready-dont
Next month I will be offering a free-read at: Free reads from the Genre-istas
If you have enjoyed BETTING JESSICA, you may appreciate that the story is about one of the side characters, Cynthia, and her own family Thanksgiving. But even if you have never read BETTING JESSICA, I think the idea that Thanksgiving can be crazy, stressful, and yet still offer that sense of home will resonate with everyone.