I’ve never been one for Halloween.
As a child I liked the costumed and the trick or treating but as I got older the holiday felt forced. It was a lot of skimpy costumes and drinking for no real reason. For some of you, this could be the breaking point of our relationship because I know how beloved this holiday is, but just hold on.
A few years ago I learned more about Día de Muertos, or day of the dead and soon after that I learned about Samhain. Both these holidays, from very different backgrounds, come back to the same principle–to honor their ancestors that have passed before them.
If you haven’t watch the Disney movie Coco, it’s time you watched it and be sure to grab your tissues while you’re at it. This incredible film will not only blow you away with incredible artwork but with a story that touches your heart. One we can all relate to as we try to understand more of ourselves and in doing so find some sort of link to our ancestors.
Clayton and I started our own ofrenda (Translated to “offering”) or alter last year to honor this season. We loved it so much, we keep it up year round only adding back the candles, flowers, and embellishments during this season. We recognize that we have no indigenous background and for that reason didn’t want to offend anyone with our alter, however when I learned about Samhain I felt the connection with my own ancestors as this too would have been a tradition for those who lived in and around Scotland as far back as the 9th century.
It seems we all are looking for a connection to our past. A time when we can feel the love of our family that’s passed, to reconnect with who we once were, or to find some new truth about ourselves that we’ve been searching for. This season when they say the veil between the living and the dead thins, when nature shed’s her leaves and we understand just how real the life/death/life cycle is, is a time to reach out to our past and remember. Remember what those who are gone have taught us, remember the memories that made us who we are, and to remember how fragile and short life is.
This small tradition slows us down to be present to the here and now. It also allows us the chance to create a space in our homes that feels cozy and brings in our most special memories. That is what building a slow home is all about.