Sign of the carnival of mirth;
Through the dun fields and from the glade
Flash merry folk in masquerade,
For this is Hallowe’en!
As you can imagine, there aren’t many places to go in our little country community for trick-or-treating fun, so we loaded up the kids and spent the evening with friends at their home downtown.
There they were, 4 boys of approximate age and 2 girls of approximate age walking down streets with their dads. She was inside carving a pumpkin and preparing chili for when they returned, and I got to sit outside on their porch and watch the festivities, passing out candy and guessing what costumes the children were wearing.
It was a taste of small town America, the gorgeous homes and scores of children waving at friends and crunching through the leaves to shout “trick or treat!” Almost every house was bright with yellow glows, windows flaming, welcoming neighbors and guests. I was amazed that there was so much light!
When the children returned with their haul of candy and red noses from the October chill, we warmed them with food and listened as they chattered, and we shared our lives with friends.
As I sat there I couldn’t help but think that this is why we do Halloween. Not because we are cavalier about its history of darkness. Not because we are celebrating evil or spirits or trying to ward off the devil.
No, we do Halloween because for us it’s about friendship and community and warmth and fun and merriment… It’s taking the darkness and making it light… It’s taking the sad, as Tim Keller says, and making it untrue.
It’s remembering that every soul on that sidewalk is someone to love.
It’s about grace and good gifts…
And it was a night overflowing with countless beauty.