I take pride in the curious and somewhat unique way I observe Hallowe’en. For the past several years, I’ve taken some time on All Hallows’ Eve to remember or acknowledge my relatives and ancestors who are dead. Sometimes I focus on one person, like Granny, but usually I reflect on genealogy and departed family in general.
Tonight, my house is lit by four handmade cranberry soy candles. (And my computer monitor.) Granted, I’ve turned on lights here and there, but I’ve turned them back off when I left the room; usually, I leave the living room light on, even when I’m downstairs at my computer. The candlelight does create kind of a somber and subdued mood for my evening, but it also makes me realize how much we take electricity for granted.
Think about it: the U.S. didn’t have a widespread rural power grid until the 1930s (according to Wikipedia), so most of the farmers in my lineage would probably have been in bed asleep by this time of night. My grandparents and great-grandparents on all sides were fairly poor folk, living in shacks and lean-tos, and they didn’t have the creature comforts that many of their city-dwelling contemporaries did. What we take for granted didn’t become standard until our parents’ era.
Not so long from now, the next generation will be thinking the same thing about the internet. (Actually, they already are — one of Aaron’s co-workers was asked by his son what Google looked like when he was a kid.)
There are so many ways I could go with this line of thought… but I think I’ll leave this unfinished. I have some other tasks I need to work on this Hallowe’en night.
Happy Hallowe’en, all. Be safe. Enjoy yourselves.
P.S. – If ever anyone wanted to invite me to a Hallowe’en party, I wouldn’t be upset to miss my annual Hallowe’en Devotional. I promise.