October 31, 2016
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The Gods couldn’t have timed it better. My wife and I were watching John Carpenter’s Halloween just past the witching hour on Samhain Eve. Then the wind started gusting outside. The trees in our neighborhood were bent at strange angles, and the leaves fluttered en masse like hordes of Cyclopean vampire bats. At one point, I even thought I heard whispering voices outside in the dark. Thinking perhaps it might be some Halloween pranksters, I went outside to check around – but there was no one else out there. (Considering that it was now about 3:30 in the morning by that time, this was hardly surprising.) But I could still hear the weird voices; what’s more, the trees seemed to have come alive as they swayed and danced in the roaring wind. Even the wind itself seemed alive, and I had a startling thought; perhaps the “voices” I heard were the spirits of our deceased grandparents, and perhaps they had stopped by to say hello and see how we were doing.
We invited our grandparents to join us during our wedding ceremony the previous year, and we chose Samhain for our wedding so this could be done. It makes complete sense to me that our ancestors would want to stop by one year later. This led me to say a prayer to them, and I prayed that they were all happy and doing well. Samhain is a time when families are meant to come together from across great distances to prepare for the oncoming winter, and the barrier between the living and the dead is the greatest distance of all. And while we couldn’t afford to throw a party or even have very many Halloween decorations (I didn’t even get to carve a jack-o’lantern!), we still enjoyed some lovely visits from our friends and family (including those who’ve long since passed beyond the Veil). It was a very merry Samhain, indeed.