The Comfort of Rituals

I have a ritual. It’s a very sacred ritual and it takes place during the late summer of every year. Actually this year, it came early. However, that’s okay, because I needed something to cheer me up this week. The temperatures in Houston are in the triple digits and not going down any time soon. This is the worst part of summer. Don’t go outside without sunscreen and a hat. Better yet, don’t go outside. You will sweat.

As I have written before, I am a big fan of Halloween. I have been for years. If reincarnation is a fact, then I must have been a witch way back whenever. Did I get burned at the stake in Salem? It would explain so much. Even Hannah, my cat, is a fan of Halloween. She loves my witch hat and poses next to it every chance she gets. Why did I have my witch hat out last week? More on that later.

While I’m running chores and errands at various stores, I always stop and notice the first time I see any Halloween decorations. This year it happened late last week. It was at Michael’s. And of course whenever I see these first seasonal decorations, I have to buy something to add to my collection. Lucky for me, Michael’s was having a sale to clear out some of last year’s stock. Great! That meant that I could buy two new Halloween decorations for the price of one.

I picked up these two little items. One is a skeleton sitting in a meditative position. The other is a stack of books. I took them home and added to my ever increasing stock of Halloween decorations. Since I have so many, there are several items that stay out all year long. Think me weird? Again, just think of it as explaining so much. But the skeleton looks peaceful, doesn’t she? It reminds me to practice mindfulness meditations and keep a sense of humor about myself at the same time. And I like books. I don’t really read palms or tell fortunes, but I can make something up if you like!

I thought this trip to Michael’s was an unusual and fortunate find. Surely I wouldn’t find any other Halloween decorations about. This ritual of mine usually did not take place until September. Imagine my surprise when later the next day I walked out of Kroger’s and saw this pumpkin display! Maybe everyone else was agreeing with me. Late summer in Houston is too hot and let’s proceed as quickly as possible into fall and cool off.

Maybe we need Halloween, because it allows us to laugh at things that typically scare us. There has been a lot of scary stuff in the news lately. Let’s move to a place where the ghosts and goblins are imaginary and we can have some fun. Maybe Halloween is much more about healing from our fears than it is about scary movies.

But please, let’s not forget about the witches. Another fortunate incident happened this past weekend when I made another visit to Houston Tintype Studio and photographer Laura Burlton took this picture of me. Yes, I am ready for Halloween. I am ready for cooler weather. I am ready to relax and enjoy Halloween festivities. I am ready to start healing some of my fears. It’s less than three months away. I will start practicing now.

Until next week.….

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