Monday, November 4, 2013

Hallowtide Visitors

As dusk fell like a silent pall,the dry leaves spin around my feet in little dust devils. I packed all the treat bags I found in the bottom of the tote where my Halloween decorations sleep all but six weeks of the year and headed for the street corner in front of my apartment building. It was barely dusk, but the town had decreed a two hour window for Trick or Treating-perhaps a wise decision since someone in the next town saw a mountain lion stroll through their back yard just last week.

A little weather working had been in order earlier in the week when there was a fear of snow; as it turned out, the evening was mild, if breezy. At the stroke of 8 o'clock all the ninjas, witchlets and dinosaurs disappeared from the streets like magic...or perhaps they were enticed by the Great Pumpkin being shown on four TV channels simultaneously.

In the cemetery just beyond the town limits, the dead began their annual trek to join the living. I didn't see anything, mind you, but I felt them awaken from their long sleep and cross soundlessly through the Veil. There were hundreds of them, their spirits flowing along like a river as they filled the streets.
I wanted to connect with them, to discover who they were in life, and where they visited from the Afterlife. I tried, but no one came.

At last, when I'd given up trying, a lone little spirit came was Tinker, my long-dead familiar. I felt the softness of kitty feet kneading on the mattress, and finally she curled into a ball and snuggled behind my knees as she did in life. We drifted peacefully off to sleep together.

I don't pretend to know anything about the Afterlife except that I believe with all my being that there is a place where our loved ones wait for us. I don't exactly support the concept of Heaven in the Judeo-Christian way, because I think that if there is actually a Heavenly Reward ( as promised), it's a place each of us create specifically for ourselves to dwell until we're reborn. My only thoughts on the subject of reincarnation is that perhaps our spirit somehow blends into the great Cosmic Cake Mix where the essence of who we are contributes to the formation of someone or something new. Perhaps a glimpse of us is recognizable now and again to those we leave behind, and that's why we so often identify a loved one in a gesture, a smile or a vocal inflection. Perhaps memory can call up physically the feel of a long-dead cat sleeping lovingly on a bed. Perhaps it's simply yearning and imagination. Whatever it is, it's valid experience. Does our longing for what we've lost create just the right vibration to manifest into being the Dead? Is that why it's so necessary to keep speaking the names of our ancestors; so they can continue to be with us? I ponder these things, especially during the Days of the Dead,when the shadows are long and silent.

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