Even though its a soggy Halloween out here in Montara people are out in droves! I would still be too if my feet weren't so wet.
Again this year I am amazed and inspired! Let me try to describe the surreal landscape here: The witches house with its pair of green meanies cackling and handing out candy to the children surrounded by at least a hundred carved pumpkins, homemade haunted houses around every corner, one residence projecting old classic black and white monster movies on the garage door,residents out in front of their houses with braziers burning and handing out hot drinks to shivering parents, hundreds of people in the streets-characters of every variety: the phantom of the Opera, medieval maidens, Fred Astaire in top hat and tails,a NASA astronaut, Harry Potter, the Avengers,ghosts and monsters of every variety all as different as their human counterparts. And its not just the kids that are dressed. Most of the parents are in costume as well participating in the festivities usually with a cup of coffee or some more potent beverage in hand. Even some pets were out enjoying themselves: here, a dog dressed up like a butterfly, over there, another dressed as a hot dog. Lights, sounds, music and laughter everywhere!
Now some might look at this and think: this is just another instance of a decadent, spoiled and silly America. But I know differently.
Americans have had four very difficult, depressing years. Even those that live in the constant bubble of Hope and Change cannot have failed to notice that costs for everything have risen substantially. Many have been laid off, lost their homes and lost their savings and retirement. Many are working more hours or several jobs just to make ends meet. Hope in the land of Hope has faded. But I see the festivities around me not as a frivolous entertainment by a decadent dying society but as a symbol of an enduring America. One that will ever strive to give its children happy memories that may serve to help them endure in the future. One that will pick itself up and dust itself off and start again because that is the American spirit.
Yes I am sure there are those reading this post that are rolling their eyes or making jokes. There are those that think I am corny or naive or just stupid. That's OK. Have at it.
I know that the same spirit that drove people to these shores, that created a new country based on laws, that endured a bloody Civil War, ended slavery and carried men and woman across the plains in wagons lives on. I'm not embarrassed by it. Not afraid to talk about it. I'm proud of it. I am proud of being an American.
You see Americans will not allow adversity to take away our hopes and dreams. And so we will celebrate Halloween to the fullest as a manifestation of the American spirit. We will carve out a space in adversity for our hopes and dreams and we will endure.
America might have been beaten down but it is not beaten.
Happy Haunting America!