October 30, 2021- Rain put a slight damper on the celebration of Hallowe’en Eve, in Salem. The last day, or two, of October constitutes a prime commercial windfall for the Witch City. Indeed, October as a whole has emerged as Salem’s prime tourism season. The confluence is that of the city’s being the site of several, but not all, of the trials of people (mostly women and girls) with the American observance of All Hallows Eve-itself a metamorphosis of the early Christian (ca. 4th Century A.D.) honouring of departed saints, and family members of the faithful, for the three days October 31-November 2. British Celts began the custom of disguising oneself as a departed person, and going house to house for small food items. This custom came to North America, with the mass immigration of Irish, Scottish and Welsh people, from the 17th Century onward. It gradually evolved into today’s secular practices of widely varying costume play and the disbursing of treats. Should the rain continue, tomorrow evening, in Salem and environs, it will diminish, but not cancel, the celebration. Having grown up in a town not too far from Salem, I can predict many ghouls, goblins, witches, even 10-foot-tall dinosaurs and skeletons will be afoot-even some in rain gear.
Some scenes from Salem were shared by cellphone, as Hiking Buddy and I drove from Prescott, through Jerome, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, to the overlook at that canyon’s North Rim. The idea was for HB to be able to see at least some of the remaining fall foliage-a bit of which was still bright, despite being still in recovery from an injury. That mission was accomplished, and was a good use of a day which was quite open-ended.
The day started with my consideration, again, of the balance between serving this community and following insights from my spirit guides. It is, in my condition of certitude, a question of balance. There are those whose mantra is: “Bloom where you’re planted!” There is also the mantra of “Follow your own path!” The truth, for me, means following a path that incorporates both time spent in one place, serving those living here, and extending one’s network to people and places further afield. My path to certitude thus does not subscribe to the dictates of even the most well-meaning of those around me. Rather, it derives from intense reflection and meditation.
Even the most open-ended day can bring sunshine into the lives of others.