I like to say that perhaps the fact I was born in the fall is the reason for feeling the most alive during the season. Mysterious, alluring, and spooky. Children returning to school, leaves slowly changing color, a chill cooling down the otherwise summery setting. Indian summer is what it is known as. This is the season of harvest after gardening and nourishing plants and animals all spring and summer. Fall, in my eyes, is the season where vibrant warm colors warm up the crispy air, and warm up my heart, so that it works faster with creativity. According to folklore, Halloween is the season where the veil between the spirit world and the physical world is the thinnest. However, as a Christian, I have a strong sense of discernment. I know that ghosts of departed human spirits do not exist, because after death, souls go directly to heaven or hell. I do believe in spirits, in the sense that memories echo through a particular place, and reside there. Maybe the term ‘ghosts’ to me is more figurative rather than literal. Autumn makes me feel alive because of the fact that a lot of great memories, and a predilection for many aspects of the season, like pumpkins, warm apple cider, hay rides, apple pie, having fun on Halloween, etc. At the college that I graduated from, Kuyper, we would celebrate Reformation Day instead of Halloween, and remember Christian reformers, such as John Calvin, Martin Luther, Abraham Kuyper, and others. According to Roman Catholicism, All Souls Day is celebrated to remember souls, past and present who believed, and remembering that in spirit, they are part of us, a cloud of witnesses calling out the name of Jesus. Since I left Paganism, I have been pondering what this season now means to me. It means four things to me now:
1. A season of remembrance of departed ones.
2. A season of appreciation of the Reformation, and the Christian fathers (and mothers) who made our community the way it is today.
3. A season of remembrance of us being a cloud of witnesses, alive and departed gathered under the name of Jesus.
4. A season just to have fun. We all have common sense to know what is real, and what is make believe. We can play and have fun. Who doesn’t like free candy?