Friday, October 30, 2009

OPINION: Ghouls, goblins and halloween fun

Magdalena Potluck
by Margaret Wiltshire

Saturday night is when we set our clocks back an hour. Seems like a silly thing to me, but I no longer have children getting up early to wait for the school bus. This clock setting system does give us our long summer evenings so no real complaint.
Before we accept the rigors and darker hours of winter, we have a festival of play, Halloween. For a growing number of people Day of the Dead is celebrated. In the Day of the Dead celebration, our departed family and friends also are included in celebration.
It is a time of family fun, togetherness. This carving of pumpkins, Trick or Treat adventures, sharing and storing of goodie bags is wonderful family bonding time. These home, community and school parties are wonderful events.
Children of all ages have this weekend to be as lovely, heroic or fierce as they can imagine themselves to be.
Still I wonder why so many children want to be Darth Vader, and not just on Halloween. Are they imagining the appeal of the “Dark Side”? Are they THAT disappointed with what is supposed to be “The Force of Good?”. Has that “Force” been so dishonest that it repels the clear eyes of youth? Or is that how they see themselves?
Hopefully, they just want to be Darth Vader for one night, the Darkness that in reality, they are not.
Whatever it is, I am waiting for the night Luke Skywalker says “Trick or Treat”.
In the end, Darth Vader comes back into the light, back to the force of goodness. In the meantime, I’ll let every Darth Vader I meet, that I see the Skywalker in him or her.
Any child playing this theme knows the difference between real “Goodness” and real “Evil”. May that force stay with them always. May that force stay with us all.
Halloween is the night we play with our social values. We can be as strong, beautiful, magical or silly as any society could ask for. With family and community love behind them, children always benefit from Halloween.
Candy. I have noticed kids going around with smaller bags for smaller hauls. Also good, many parents are watching and spreading out the consumption of candy collected over time.
Activity is the body’s way of using, dealing with high blood sugar. It is a good idea to allow active time for those who have consumed a lot of sugar. It’s a natural way to adjust blood sugar levels.
Halloween is all about dealing with fears and realities. In some places in the southwest, we have “monster” spiders, tarantulas. What is the reality of these giant night creepy crawlers?
Wild female tarantulas can live 30 years and have a leg span of ten inches, dinner plate size. Smaller males are the ones we see usually because they will travel during summer daylight, the mating season.
Tarantulas feed at night on critters smaller than they are. With retractable claws, like cats, they can climb but prefer not to risk a fall. Their exoskeleton can easily rupture so these shy critters try not to fall and do try to avoid larger animals, including us.
A tarantula does not want to bite you. Its poison is like a bee sting. However, tarantulas have barbs they can “throw” at anything that scares them. They scare easily. These barbs can cause a nasty rash and allergic reaction.
Good idea, let wild things be wild.
Hoping you all have a wild, safe, and loving Halloween!

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