For Halloween I treated myself to a simple beaker of flowers.
But I also received another, unexpected, sweet treat for Halloween; a lesson in good citizenship.
Friday morning a stranger knocked on my door; a smiling, cheerful, young woman. She told me that she lived down the lane opposite me. She said she wanted to take her two children trick or treating. Would it be okay if she brought them to my door around 5pm? ( Bear in mind that Halloween is not widely celebrated in New Zealand). She said she was consulting a half-dozen neighbours and that would be more than enough households for her children to visit, and to give them a taste of Halloween fun. They are only little, she said, just 4 and 6, and they are very excited about their Halloween costumes. Of course I said, yes, that would be fine, but I would have to go and buy some sweets because I had nothing suitable in the house. “Oh, please don’t worry about that,” the young mother replied, ” I have prepared sweets for you to give them if you would like to join in.” Whereupon she produced a small ziplock packet of mixed sweeties/candy.
At 5pm exactly, Mum and the littlies came down my driveway, full of chatter and high pitched glee. They knocked on the door and squealed delightedly when I opened it ( I guess I have authentic witchy-white hair!) . “Trick or treat, ” they said in giggly unison. Their mother introduced them to me. Pleasantries exchanged, I produced the sweet assortment, and their little eyes grew round and big with amazement. Hands dipped in to the bag until it was emptied. Then, with a polite thank you or two, the pink-slippered, silver-hatted witch and her Dracula-draped brother skipped off to another happy reception at my neighbour’s.
It was a lovely moment. Possibly one of the best Halloweens I have had; a thoughtful mother, teaching her children that their community is a good place, and that they can be part of the good citizenry that makes it so.
I hope she will, one day, also introduce them to what comes after Halloween; All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Days (also not widely celebrated in New Zealand, as far as I know).
Tonight and tomorrow I will light candles and remember the good citizens of my small world who have died during the past year. Some were old and ready to leave us, whilst others seemed far too young. In particular I want to remember two of our blogging community, Catherine Crout-Habel of Seeking Susan and Christine of Dadirridreaming . Many of you will know other bloggers who have died in the past 12 months. Please feel free to remember them in the comments, if you would like to. They were good citizens enriching, and lighting up, our lives.