Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"




When we were kids I shared a room with my older sister, and every night after my mom would tuck us in I would harass my sister and nag till she played my favorite game
“Imagine”
Into the dark I would whisper loudly “Jes?” every night she would try desperately to ignore her annoying sister but, alas never underestimate the power of an 11 year old nag!
After a while she would eventually sigh in defeat and quietly say “Alright what are we imagining tonight?”
When you’re a child the world is a huge uncharted and exciting adventure  waiting to be explored and your life is still  unmarred by disappointment s and reality bites , a child can climb the tallest building or fly to the moon and be back for dinner….all neatly tucked away in their imagination
It always began  with me creating the initial scenario “Alright we’ll imagine that we live near a Forrest and we like to go berry picking every afternoon and one day going on our merry way we stray a bit too far from home and stumble on a field of magic mushrooms that make you invisible ……” then she would hesitantly say …..”and we would go to the department store wait till night fall after everyone has left and eat all the chocolate and jump on all the beds!!” we would take turns making up obstacles and characters and killing off the ones we didn’t like.
We would go on like that excitedly for a while until our voices grew softer and our eyelids heavier and eventually we would sink back in to our pillows and fall into a deep undisturbed slumber with content smiles on our faces
Over the years the imaginations we created changed slowly into reality …the stories had less magic and fantasy and more of our actual lives …..But still we would be saved at the end of every story, we would get the boy and the treasure and the big castle up in the hills and live happily ever after



My mother eventually turned the library into a room for my sister to give her more privacy and space to study and some much needed freedom from her little sister.
 I enjoyed my new found freedom too, hidden away with my nose in my books lost in someone else’s world, or on the phone giggling with my girlfriends exaggerating dramatically about whatever silliness had happened that day at school.
Still every night, after saying good night alone in my bed I would hear my sister’s bed room door close behind her and let myself miss her just a little bit
It’s just not as fun playing on your own
Almost 15 years have passed since my sister and I shared a room and 3 since we shared a house we’ve grown up and are trod ding our own separate paths in life we have remained close but we haven’t played for  a long time…..
Yesterday I asked her to play with me in honor of Halloween
 


So for an hour yesterday the sea that separated us forgotten we went back in time  and excitedly discussed our open air roof top Halloween party , we would have red blood punch with fake edible eyeballs in them and scary jack ’o ‘lanterns hanging across the roof and lightning bolts going off all night and moans and howls from fake ghosts.
We would have a crazy witch hunt in the middle of the party complete with clues and surprises, the winner would be crowned ghoul of the night and we would dance the night away munching on marshmallows and candy!
We talked about what we would wear she wanted to be a medieval wench or the chicken from chicken run I wanted to be a gypsy or a white angel complete with wings and a halo!
Arguing finally about what her 2 year old daughter would wear I wanted her to be pebbles from Flintstones! And she insisted that she would make a cutie tinker bell!








So in the spooky spirit of Halloween and the rising of the dead and forgotten I leave you with this poem:



HALLOWE'EN
Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds to-night,-
 In the wan moon's silver ray
 Thrives their helter-skelter play.

Fond of cellar, barn,or stack,
True unto the almanac,
They present to credulous eyes
Strange hobgoblin mysteries.

Cabbage-stomps-straws wet with dew-
Apple-skins, and chestnuts too,
 And a mirror for some lass,
Show what wonders come to pass.

Doors they move, and gates they hide,
Mischiefs that on moon-beams ride
Are their deeds, and, by their spells,
 Love records its oracles.

Don't we all, of long ago,
By the ruddy fireplace glow,
In the kitchen and the hall,
Those queer, coofllke pranks recall?

Eery shadows were they then-
But to-night they come again;
Were we once more but sixteen,
Precious would be Halloween.

-Joel Benton


2 comments:

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