On my recent trip to the cemetery I saw many butterflies fluttering around appropriately dressed in mourning. I wasn’t able to get any decent photos so I had to borrow this image of a black swallowtail.
I love Halloween. Always have. It is my favourite holiday. But as a culture we’ve kind of de-clawed the meaning of Halloween iconography. Our culture is all about accumulating earthly delights and denying death so we are amused by skeletons, vaguely disturbed by our similarities with zombies and envious of vampires who have it all.
Some of the more devout Christians I’ve met here in Texas have seemed threatened by Halloween. I worked for one principal who banned its celebration at her school. I think she thought it was vaguely sinful or indulgent.
Yet, many religions use death imagery, memento mori, to remind us to be mindful of living a good life. Halloween as a holiday has the potential to be deeply religious or at least respectful of life itself.
Tomorrow the veils between the living and the dead will thin. In case of fear remember the butterfly. Our spirits can always be renewed. I saw these lovely Queen butterflies yesterday: