Descent to the dark
by Sharon Ashwood on October 27th, 2009

Around Hallowe’en we get that real bite in the air that says the gentle, golden autumn is going to get tough any minute now. There’s a moodiness I love—something at once poignant and primal, celebratory and subdued. The seasons are changing. Winter is on the move. Legend has it that the veils between our world and other worlds—the Afterlife, or perhaps Faery—are thinnest on All Hallow’s Eve. From the electric feel in the air, I could believe it.


One of my favourite things is watching the elementary school down the street on Hallowe’en. The kids parade in their costumes—jubilant little pirates and zombies on the prowl for treats. I have to enjoy them there because, sadly, trick or treating is a dying art in my neighbourhood. Not too many come to my door, which is a shame because I’m a total pushover when it comes to passing out candy.

Mixed in with the sugar and costumes is, for me, a time of reflection. This is also the Celtic New Year and Day of the Dead. I remember those who have passed, the things I want to keep in my life and those I want to let go, and the many blessings for which I am grateful. It’s the beginning of the dark season, of rest and rebuilding before that great extroverted burst of energy we call spring. It’s a time to take stock and make sure I’m on the right path.


And I revel in the great outpouring of horror films and plastic skulls and miniature Wunderbars. There’s plenty of room for reflection AND celebration. We need to balance darkness and light, and the Hallowe’en bonfire is the ideal image for me. We embrace both, we honour both, and find the proper equilibrium to move forward.

With a fist full of candy bars. Hey, life is a journey. Better take provisions.

3 comments to “Descent to the dark”

  1. 1

    Mmmm, Wunderbars. Do they make those in the US? What does it say about me that I’ve already raided the Halloween candy supplies? Nibs. Yum.

  2. 2


    Hey — your elementary school kids get to wear costumes to school? Gasp! :eek:

    It’s not allowed here. That’s one of my most favorite childhood memories, the costume parade at school.

  3. 3

    “Life is a journey. Take candy bars.” I think this should be a bumper sticker.

    What’s a Wunderbar?

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