Past experience tells me that I am going to have to bear with the stench for about a week while the unfortunate critter decomposes. I’ve got candles burning to help ward off the odor, but other than that, I am at nature’s mercy to dispose of the body in its own sweet time. Guess I won’t be having guests over this week.
In the meantime, tomorrow is Halloween (All Hallows Eve), a time when the mind turns to the macabre. Halloween is thought by some to date back to the Celtic tradition of Samhain (pronounce SAH-win, meaning “summer’s end”). According to Halloweenhistory.org, the Celts believed that on October 31, the “boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc…”
Interestingly, many of our Halloween customs seem to speak to a dichotomy between fearing death on one hand, and trying to stare it down on the other. Consider the tradition of wearing masks and costumes, for example. Depending on the source, wearing costumes originally began as an attempt by the living to appease the evil spirits, mimic them, mock them, or perhaps even to disguise oneself so as to hide from them. Nowadays, with costumes running the gamut between super heroes, politicians, and scantily clad wenches, it’s hard to tell exactly what our intentions are.
These days we’re not so concerned with the evil spirits that may be roaming about on Halloween. Nonetheless, we still go out and scare ourselves silly, eat copious amounts of candy (also very scary), and in general thumb our noses at things that go bump in the night.
As for me, I’m going to celebrate Halloween by turning the porch lights out in hopes that no one comes soliciting handouts (yes, I’m one of those), lighting incense to cover up the smell in my living room, and hoping that my dead varmint buddy is a benevolent spirit who does not choose to haunt me. If a furry little ghost does appear, I won’t know whether to run from it or offer it a Snickers bar. Which would you do?
Be safe tomorrow.