The toothy-grinned jack-o-lanterns lay frozen to the ground. Everything is covered in a blanket of white. Trees, still vibrant with fall colors, are toppled with the extra weight of the snow. Some of these have seen fit to rob nearby homeowners of precious electricity. The roads and sidewalks have have been cleared but still hold the hazard of some left over snow and ice. Many schools and businesses have been closed until the debris can be removed and the power restored. There is an eerie quiet about the scene.
The search for candy may have to be postponed until next year. Oh the horror. For some, there is no longer a need for a costume as their classes have been suspended. Oh no. There will be no parade of little giggling goblins for fear of the lack of streetlights. Eeeeek. Halloween, this year, will be ruined, nonexistent. Aaaaawwwwwww.
With visions of Irene still lingering, I do not quite understand the dilemma. Is Halloween not supposed to be a little odd? Should the holiday for spooks not be scary? Is this not the time of year when we shut the lights and try to capture some fear? And, most importantly, what do we teach our children about life, to just hide inside, shrug our shoulders, and give up our special day, hoping someone else will come and make it better? Should we not light some candles and truly capture the spirit of Halloween? Should we not start the generator, re-inflate the decorations, and put out the candy bowl, defiantly shaking our fist at Mother Nature? Should we fiendishly laugh into the night wind and take our children on an extra special trick-or-treat adventure?
This Halloween is not scary for our children, it is a day of disappointment. This Halloween is scary only for the parents, who have come to rely too much on conveniences and too little on flexibility. It is scary for the adults that do not, for a few terrifying hours, have access to the Internet or phone service or a light bulb. They fear the same wet boots that the children can not wait to dunk in puddles along their route. The scariest part of this Halloween for me is seeing how soft the once resilient population of America has become, hiding and whining, cowering beneath the covers afraid of slippery sidewalks (and the litigation of lawyers).
This should be the best, most memorable Halloween of a great many years, a time to recapture the spooky magic of yore. Perhaps I will let the children trick or treat by lantern light, like it should be. And light the pumpkin with candlelight, instead of batteries. And allow the shadows to do their best to send chills across the neighborhood.