Dick Bernard: Meeting a Witch.

First, a significant program which will be accessible worldwide for the next week, beginning tonight on the National Geographic Channel. Details here. This film, “Before the Flood”, is Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary on Climate Change, on the National Geographic Channel tonight, and gives details on the many free access points for the film on the web for the next few days.
POSTNOTE Sunday evening Oct. 30: I have just watched this film. It is very thought provoking. Excellent.
The Witch
Saturday noon our friend, Don, and I went to the local Dairy Queen for lunch. Just inside the restaurant, we met a nice looking middle-aged lady all dressed up as a witch, tall pointed hat and all black clothing, about to leave.
I made a good-natured crack, and she responded, good-naturedly but with authority, “I am a witch”. There was a small amount of banter, and we were on our respective ways. She was a most pleasant person!
Around us were a few youngsters “practicing” for Monday night, All Souls Day, Halloween. There weren’t any hobgoblins, but the assorted costumes allowed that they were preparing for “trick or treats” a couple of days out (we used to say “money or eats”, too – I wonder….) Our neighborhood lately has been almost devoid of young gremlins, though my wife has stocked up for Monday night since there are a fair crop of new neighbors with kids, including a 7 year old next door. We might get some business.
The little interchange with the witch (I’ll take her word for it), caused me to think.
Witches tend to get a bad rap, which causes them to most often be quiet about their belief system. Our mindset, when “witch” is mentioned, is of people casting spells; the “wicked witch of the west”, “witches brew” and such.
(The witch we met yesterday did a more than reasonable “cackle”.)
There likely is a reputable witch web site that is “fair and balanced”. For the lazy researcher – me – the wikipedia entry seems helpful. You can read it here.
One day a year – tomorrow – the kids come around to stock up on unhealthy food bought by otherwise good parents.
No carrot sticks and celery on Halloween! Apples have a bad reputation…too easy to put sharp things in.
There are other events. A number of years ago I walked in the Mexican Dia de Muertos, “Day of the Dead” in south Minneapolis. It was very impressive. My guess is that it will happen this week as well.
This morning at Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis there will be the 22nd annual procession of the Icons, an annual event connected with All Souls Day, always impressive (at 9:30 and 11:30 Mass for any interested).
A few years ago, around Halloween, Nov. 5, 2001, we happened to be at a B&B overlooking a little park in London, England, and at night noticed parents and children were around in the park with little fires, having fun and celebrating something or other. Later I learned it was Guy Fawkes Night, celebrating the day that a militant English Catholic tried and failed to blow up Parliament in 1605.
I don’t know if I actually met a “witch” yesterday, but whoever she was, I’m grateful that she caused me to take a moment to reflect on the humanity of all of us, and the sometimes nonsensical things we do to validate ourselves over others; or just invalidate others….
There’s room for all kinds of people in our society, so long as we deal respectfully with each other.
Have an enjoyable Halloween!

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