And once again it’s Halloween. All Hallows, the night of Witches and Goblins. So…. who would I be if I didn’t write about it, tell you a scary story and bewilder you with my nonsense.
Black Cats, Witches and ghosts, yet give me a scary story an old movie and I’m in. As children we would sit by the fire and listen to grandma, the grandma who came from the old country. The old lady who tells the young ones about gypsies and wooden dolls, garlic and the undead. Churches which held coffins underground filled with the undead, corpses which arose on the night we now call Halloween.
Chrystal balls filled the dining room table, tarot cards inside the drawer beside the couch. Stones that you received instead of cookies to keep one safe form those mystical gargoyles that watched over you from the steeple of the churches in the neighbourhood. I knew garlic to be for safety, hung from the rafters or on the door when someone was sick. We learned that the intuition was everything and normal thinking was to be used only in school. I learned about astrology before I could talk and the value of making sure I had extra stones in my pocket on the 13th of every month.
My mom used to tell me all the time she feared those 13 days. It didn’t matter if it came on a Wednesday. No appointments, few visitors and if we were out of milk, it didn’t matter. Nothing happened for her. It haunted her, her entire life and to not bring this to a somber end she died on the 13th day at 11:50. She almost made it. Yet she had always known it would be her time and I have now made 13 my lucky number in her honour.
So tonight when the tricksters are done and the children are home tired from a long journey of candy discovery. Their voices soothed by hot chocolate and a warm fire I will gather them round. I will offer them silence as I gather blankets to hold them close and pillows to rest their heads. They will all call out to me for stories, promise me the world for just one scare before bed, giggle as they shriver in suspense. I will bring them in, raise them up in terror of stories my great grandma told me and them hold them tight until they sleep. I do it in love, for in the end they laugh and say “Oh grandma, what nonsense and we know it’s not real.”
I believe in the ghosts of All Hallows, the ghosts that haunt our present selves. I believe it enriches our otherwise humdrum lives. I will tell the stories of my heritage until my mouth no longer speaks and my eyes cannot light up with joy. I am that person who gives the grandkids stones for their journey, I have a Chrystal ball somewhere in the house and does tarot cards. I am a Storyteller, a gypsy at heart as I follow in the footsteps of the generations before me.
Happy Halloween everyone.