I'm not talking about the weather which, even here in California, is a gamble. I'm not talking about the decorations, although some would certainly argue for a type of beauty in a good spooky haunt.
We adults stock up on candy, not knowing who will come, or even how many will come. Some even spend time and money to decorate our houses with fun lights or spooky scenes, to help give children we've never met a special evening filled with fun and harmless scares. It's not just parents who do this, it's all sorts of us: single, married, with children, without. Young and old. Wealthy and poor.
Next Halloween, take a moment to look down your street. Watch the lights as the children dash back and forth across the street, run from house to house, squeal at scary decorations and yell 'trick or treat!'. Walk down to the corner and look down the next street; notice the same thing happening there. And on the next. And on the one past that, too.
Tonight, the streets, the neighborhoods, they belong to the children. Not the drug dealers, and not the criminals. Watchful parents and neighbors come together to create a playground for the children to experience and enjoy. Filled with magic and fun and candy.
I can't decide if it's ironic or fitting that the night we set aside to pay tribute to the things that scare us the most--death, phobias, insects, vampires, ghosts, the dark, things that go bump in the night--is also the night we come together to celebrate and support innocence. Maybe this makes sense, to prioritize the young when remembering that our time on this earth is finite, and that the cycle of life is inevitable. I don't know.
But what I do know is this. Millions of children will fall asleep tonight with their heads filled with fun memories and dreams of their candy loot. And millions of adults got their hearts tickled by adorable costumes, and had a reason to smile the night away.
And that, my friend, is a beautiful, beautiful thing. May we carry a bit of that Halloween spirit with us throughout the rest of the year.