Dusk in New York on a Friday night, on a warehousey street, is the witching hour. You can feel the daytime creatures slipping into their nighttime skins. – Matthew Fox
While at my Dru yoga class this week, our teacher Sandra introduced the class to some poses to celebrate moon energy. With Halloween coming up this October 31st and Mexico’s two day festival, “All Saints’ Day” on November 1st and “All Souls’ Day” on November 2nd, our time “on the mat” fit right in with the mood of the season. Focusing on the moon’s arrival to our ever shortening days helps to chase away the sadness of the changing seasons, we can say “good-bye” to the lush days of Summer and embrace the new season.
Here in the West End as I walk between errands and visits, I see glimpses of the moon energy in the decorations on front lawns and in windows. There are the usual pumpkins, ghosts and cardboard cut-outs of bats but recently I’ve seen black lace draped upon a window, homemade tombstones on a lawn and a small murder of feathered toy crows tucked into a garden trellis. The best place to seek out moon energy is in the park – walking on the trails through the forest and checking out nature’s decorating skills is one of my favourite things to do. Terry and I have been able to bring a picnic lunch most Fridays this month to the Stanley Park Ghost Train area, there is usually a picnic table in the sun with our names on it – afterwards we take in the spooky atmosphere!
In our apartment I set up a “Day of the Dead” altar quite by accident -there is a verdigris trellis that I picked up in our underground parking area (where free items can be found), it leans against one wall with a small pine shelving unit (yet another found piece) in front that currently is home to Mexican pottery and masks, a large terracotta planter with a jungle-like spider plant, a beautiful wooden bowl that belonged to a distant relative filled with colourful Mexican coasters and my moon energy decorations. Attached to the trellis are 3 paperclips with cut-outs of black crows in various poses, I positioned them as if they were having a meeting as crows often do. Nearby I put up a small silver skeleton that sparkles when the light hits it. When describing my decorating to Huguette it reminded us of the “Day of the Dead” altars that we’ve seen in Mexico.
When Terry and I would head down South to Mexico, we never caught the festival where the Mexican people honour and commune with their departed family members. We always arrived a few days afterwards but the altars would still remain for us to admire. Even the bakery where we bought our weekly pastries and delicious doughnuts would still be selling the sugar skulls in all their colourful glory! “Day of the Dead” altars were often found set up in building alcoves, in the corners of people’s courtyards and most always in the park-like area near the Rio Cuale. There always seemed to be a skeleton, colourful paper flowers, a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe or a picture of a loved one.
Recently the two worlds of Halloween and “Day of the Dead” collided here in the West End. I was on a short walk looking for more of that moon energy when a young man dressed as a mariachi with a skull face painted on in colours of white and black walked down the street towards me – it reminded me that there is always wonder outside our door and that this is a good time to honour and remember all those that have passed from our world.