Happy Halloween and Samhain to you all! This year my daughter will miss trick or treating for the first time. It’s a bittersweet moment for her parents. On the one hand, we miss the trick or treat years. On the other hand, she’s performing in a haunted house and our hearts swell with parental pride knowing that she’s giving people emotional catharsis by screaming in their faces until they pee themselves in terror. Truly, it’s a dream come true for all of us.
For pagans, Samhain is a time to remember our beloved dead. I’m writing this early, on October 4th. Such is the pace of life and death in this country at this time that I’m unable to even imagine how many dead we will have lost by October 30th, and to what. What I do know is that while death is a natural and holy part of life, death due to cruelty and stupidity and ignorance is not.
Hurricanes and other natural disasters may not be preventable, but climate change is – and the damage wrought by natural disasters can be reduced by legislation that requires building to be built to certain standards, and toxins to be stored under certain safeguards. Death by disease is inevitable. Eliminating access to health care is not. Violence is inevitable. Making gun ownership so easy that in 2016 alone 15,079 people died from gunshot wounds is not inevitable. War seems to be a constant throughout history, but that doesn’t mean that trolling foreign counties on Twitter is sound national policy.
We owe it to our beloved dead to give the ones they leave behind a chance at life. We owe it to our communities and to ourselves to help each other’s lives be lengthy and happy ones. Celebrate this October, fuel yourselves with some high quality candy, and call your representatives – again. And again. And again, until they quit with tricks!