Social Gypsies for a Night

November 1, 2007 at 3:15 am Leave a comment

Can you hear the wind? It’s a blustery all-hallow-even, and I can hear the leaves quivering on the trees, like wispy wind chimes, and a deep howling harbinger of cold weather still to come. Tonight was perfect. Burns Street was as hectic as predicted, even if there were far fewer houses tricked out this year, and by far the best give-away was those carnival glow sticks that some parents transformed into makeshift necklaces and tiaras so they could better spot their kids in the eerie dark of Forest Hills Gardens this spooky night.

Walking to and from that section of Forest Hills, we passed countless children in costume, and many grown ups, too, dressed up. Everyone so happy, and united by that happiness for this one night. It seems that Halloween, unlike Christmas and other large-scale “tradition” holidays, does not disappoint. Garrison Keillor’s take on this is apt:

What’s interesting about Halloween is that it has no real connection to the majority religion of this country, it does not celebrate an event in our nation’s past, it does not involve traveling to visit family, and it doesn’t even give us a day off work. But it gives us the chance to try out other identities. For one day, people can feel free to dress as the opposite gender, as criminals, as superheroes, celebrities, animals, or even inanimate objects.

I like this, the idea that our collective happiness this evening stems from doing things we don’t normally do, harmless things that just make us feel good about ourselves and others. More of this please, with or without the costumes.



Entry filed under: community, Forest Hills.

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