This is Halloween!

HALLOWEEN!

Halloween has been my favourite holiday since I was about 2 feet tall, dressing up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. As I grew,  I took a turn and later started dressing as a witch. It’s funny the evolution- I use to dress as a witch with a pointy hat and black dress and a broom stick.

Today, I’m also dressed as a witch, though slightly different.

Black skirt, white button down, black sweater, Mary Janes, and a Gryffindor tie.

My wand and my Hogwarts Library are strategically placed on the desk behind me, and it is giving me such a joyful energy. I love when my love of literature comes together with my love for Halloween. What better story to go with than Harry Potter! Unless of course, we’re talking about The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, my other favorite Halloween book!

I’m dressed up because we are going to be handing out candy in our building (a renowned business school) a little later to local children who will come “Trick or Treating” in our building.

I really will take any excuse to dress up.

I love that even when I’m almost 30, I am super pumped about even the littlest costume and details, and that even in this ultra professional environment, I’m managing to still make people stop, think and smile.

This is Halloween

I love Halloween for other reasons too- the historical context of the holiday, how it began and how it’s been celebrated over the centuries. The superstitions, particularly that Halloween is the night when the veil between the living and the spirit world is the thinnest, making it easier for us to be near those who have left the living world.

Not that I’m sitting with a Ouija board trying to catch up with Grandma (those things are not to be played with!) but it’s just nice to feel as though perhaps those I miss so much are a little closer than they normally are.

I love the history of Halloween most of all. In the UK and Ireland, its called Samhain (sow-in), a Celtic festival where people would light fires and dress up to ward off roaming ghosts. It was also the time of the Celtic New Year, which represented the end of summer,  the harvest season and the beginning of winter, which also was associated with a time of death.

Currently, especially in the U.S., Halloween is a children’s holiday celebrated by dressing up as favorite characters and going door to door in neighborhoods getting candy. The 30th of October has become traditionally known in the past 20 years or so, as Hell Night or Mischief night, giving teenage angst an excuse to roam the quiet streets of unsuspecting neighborhoods causing vandalism (mostly toilet paper) and damage.

Growing up, my dad was a police officer and he warned of what happens on Hell Night. My neighbors took a good offensive measure to the tradition by inviting all the neighborhood kids to TP their house so that we wouldn’t have the urge to get into any trouble. They usually decorated for Halloween any way, and felt the toilet papering gave their house and even spookier element. (I love my neighbors).

Some kids still went out and caused mayhem but for the most part, we kept off the streets that night.

Being almost 30 now, I guess it’s time to consider myself a “grown up”, and in my exploration of self this year, I’ve come to realize the things that are most important to me- traditions in particular. I love the celebration of Halloween in regards to the Samhain traditions- bonfires, dressing up, and the celebration of the change of seasons and feeling connected to the natural progression of time and celebrating it.

No matter how old I get, I’ll always engage and invite the magic, mystery and superstitions with open arms every year!

The place where timing, opportunity, risk, and fate intersect

This crossroads is where magic happens.

I’ve been surrendering my life up to the cosmos, releasing my *very* tight grasp on what happens in my life and my reactions to it. Moving out has given me blessed release to just be, and to live more openly than ever before. It’s good though, that I waited so long; I had a lot to learn before I left the nest of my parent’s home and I am learning everything as I go and support myself. I’m making mistakes and discovering new stresses but I’m rolling with it.

For instance, this is the first week I finally came out on top in regards to bills. I wasn’t completely wiped out, everything was on time and nothing bounced.

This is progress!

I also have been more focused on the things that are most important to me (the people in my life are a given) as well as reading, expanding my ever eager mind, and listening to music. Tomorrow is the long awaited release of Josh Ritter’s newest album, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it. The songs he pre-released have been on repeat for weeks and I fall more in love with them every time I listen.

Check out Sermon on the Rocks here– you can listen to the whole album streaming from NPR.

His song, “Where the night goes” perfectly surmises the experience I’m about to detail to you.

Last night, I experienced this cross roads. Plans with a friend fell through and after sitting at home reading for a while, I decided to venture out. There’s a great little hookah bar/ restaurant I’ve been frequenting with delicious Syrian tea and my favorite rose flavored hookah. Armed with my journal and my book, unsure of which muse would strike me as I sat, puffing away, seated in one of the two front window seats.

I’ve had many nights like this, even before I moved out. I love the solitude of venturing out on my own for tea and writing. I have a few favorite haunts that allow for such an atmosphere that I can simply reach out and graze the muses as they dance around me. It’s always nice to go out with friends, but there’s something equally comforting being with your own company. If you don’t enjoy your company, how can you expect anyone else to?

I sat, comfortably writing, cathartic release of hurts finally healed and looking to the future. The future, in that moment, was any frame of time from that moment to the end of the evening or beyond.

There were other tables seated around me with quiet murmuring conversation and a rowdy group of men enjoying the BYOB benefit of the place. I noticed a man walk in alone, place his order, and sit in the window opposite me. When he pulled out his cell phone, I waited a bit to see if it was to wait for someone, or if he seemed to also be on his own.

I had a feeling, an instinct that I never usually listened to. I looked up, our eyes met, and I motioned to the empty seat across from me.

Because before cell phones, before technology, sometimes, this is how people met and connected.

He accepted my offer. Introductions exchanged,  I asked him what his plan was for his evening. He had come for the same reasons I had- to write and sit.

Funny how plans change.

We started out slowly, talking about writing, our styles of writing and what we enjoy. We moved swiftly to reading and books then blossomed into the passionate declarations of opinions and points of view on music, the current dating culture (we are both survivors of online dating), and all the things that make us tick. It was effortless, fluid, relaxed, fun, and exciting. Hours passed and we noticed the owner turning off the neon “Open” sign, and took our  leave. We walked through New Haven at midnight, the quiet streets allowing us safe passage to continue our conversations for as long as we could. Numbers were exchanged, and the promise of a second meeting lingered between us as we said good night and parted ways.

I had a feeling and I followed it. It felt right. It felt good to fully trust myself again.

I had made the joke when I went off of online dating that I would take my chances in the wild. I guess we shall see how it plays out.