Another Halloween has come and gone. Our kids look forward to it every year with great anticipation. And we, adults, love the joy and excitement it brings our kids. Sure, a lot of it centers around the costumes (and the candy!). Over the years, disposable, packaged Halloween costumes have become more common. Yet those creative, handmade costumes still seem to capture most of our attention and create great memories (like our son’s cactus costume this year). Halloween not only taps our creativity but provides opportunities for meaningful connection often missing in our busy everyday lives.
Halloween connects us to our place in the world. If we are fortunate to live in a safe community that celebrates Halloween, we’re walking through our local neighborhoods and talking and laughing with one another. Our sense of community and togetherness is strong. We’re outside and in the elements— rain, snow or moon! Walking slowly outside allows us to open up our senses to the nature that surround us on the ground and in the sky. Connecting with nature in our lives restores and rejuvenates us, even on Halloween.
The pumpkin carving ritual also brings us closer to nature. The pumpkin(s) you bought may not be local or organic, but also did not come packaged or processed. It’s directly from the land. Carving a pumpkin provides a child (or adult) with an opportunity to carefully observe a plant with all its contours, textures and smells. Extracting and then cooking the pumpkin seeds connects us intimately to this food source. This year for the first time, my family removed the pulp to make a pumpkin pie filling.
Enjoying the creativity of costumes and the taste of sweet treats are a big part of Halloween’s excitement. Let’s also appreciate the deeper meaning and happiness when we connect with neighbors, our community and the nature around us and in our pumpkins!
Thanks for reading my inaugural blog post of Connecting to Place: Community and Nature in Everyday Life. Connected to place is about finding meaning, happiness and hope in our everyday lives and communities.
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