Please gather 'round the fireplace with your drinks for a moment.
I want to take a minute to mention something more important than animatronics and monsters and models and music.
Well, those things are all pretty damned important to all of us, I know.
But I've been reading about something that has me thinking, and feeling, and I wish to express it.
One of the many fine, fun and instructive Hallowe'en sites on the spidery Web for many years has been Season of Shadows, a passionate and prop-laden labor of love. It has a blog, picture and video galleries, how-to's, a chat room, a live webcam of their haunt and workshop, and tons of other magic.
Season of Shadows is the brain-and-heart child of John Wolfe, a talented and crazy Autumn Person who loves Hallowe'en and has made it so special for so many grown-ups and kids over so many years. John has helped and inspired many other Hallowe'en Lovers to do it right on the Big Night.
And I've been reading that, sadly, John's health is in serious decline... and he has written his last blog post at Season of Shadows just in the last few days.
But if you would please go read that post, you'll find that, although his struggle has been painful and difficult and seemingly terminal, his SPIRIT is up, resolved to accept what's happening, and what will happen. It's at once a sad and inspiring post.
And it has me thinking about something I've believed to be (mostly) true for some time now:
I believe most Autumn People, Hallowe'en Lovers, Horror Junkies and Monsterkids of all ages have a healthier grasp of What May Come, and a less-panicked, more accepting sense of our own mortality. I think we face our most basic fear, our own 'ending', so much more often than other people who are too afraid to explore the dark side of life. Facing it and celebrating it through Hallowe'en and all our other monstery rituals makes us more ready to deal with such things.
I find such strength of spirit in that post, in John's acceptance of whatever is in store.
Sure, it's sad and sobering, but it's RIGHT that in our quiet, ending hours we let our cares fall, entrust ourselves to the Great Mystery, neither jump for joy nor weep for sorrow, but just BE.
We who live in this realm live in a true season of shadows, and pass into the season of Light in our turn.
And any time we observe that passage of one of our own, as Autumn People we are obliged to toast, celebrate, and promise to remember the Spirit that is moving to ever-greater haunts in that far October Country where dark and light are the same, where sadness is no more, where pumpkins glow like sunset.
... where real Hallowe'en is forever.
So, a toast.
Blessed be to you John.
Now let's the rest of us sorry fools promise each other to do up Hallowe'en bigger and better this year than ever before!