It’s that time of year again. Halloween. All Hallows Eve. A day that lives under many other names too. It is a day where kids of all ages from young to old dress up as something they are not. Where age becomes relative to how young or old you feel, and the little goblins run amok from door to door begging for sweet candy bliss.
It is a celebration of both life and death, and of all the worlds that strike the imagination. It is a celebration of celebrating the imagination.
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and it feels like defeat to say that I am just not feeling it. Apparently I’m not the only one.
Driving home, I could not help but notice that I did not see a single house with Halloween decorations.
Maybe, like me, it started with the rash of break-ins two years ago. With the gradual decay of our Halloween decorations from the ravages of time and lack of extra money to replace them over the past years, that climaxed with the theft of the only good one left, and my favorite, my Halloween spirit has been in decline.
Or maybe the town is just tired. It has been a hard few months. The bridge that is one of the two main entrances into town has been closed indefinitely with no plans to replace it. Days before school was set to start the elementary school and only daycare serving the surrounding area caught fire, displacing all the kids for most of the school year while it is repaired.
This is not about whining and moaning about our problems. The kids are resilient and because they are we all will be.
With resilience something grows. Right?
While my Halloween spirit seems to be missing, I felt a bit giddy anyway.
The day after Halloween in November 1st. The start of National Novel Writing Month. A global event where crazy writer geeks pledge to write 50,000 words in a month. A new novel from scratch, writing mostly from the seat of your pants.
Why am I giddy?
I might have started something magical.
Every year I encourage my girls to embrace their imaginative capabilities. This year my eleven year old shows an interest. My eleven year old told her teacher a story about a magical month of mayhem and wild imaginative writing.
She was intrigued.
She asked questions. She was interested.
Time will see.
We might see some renewed energy in a tired town, a classroom, maybe two, embracing a month of wild abandon and imaginative freedom in that strange phenomenon we call NaNoWriMo.
New writers born and new stories. It can only be a good thing in a tired place.