Thursday, October 31, 2013

One Halloween after Superstorm Sandy: Back to Normalcy

It's Halloween, and so I eagerly ready myself for the ringing of the door bell and the uttering of "Trick or treat" that signals the start of the event. Decorations are strategically placed. Candy is set out in the treasured spooky pumpkin vessel complete with bewitching sounds. New purple and white lights sparkle against an array of seasonal delights as the first Halloween trick or treaters approach. The door bell rings and I am struck with awe at the multitudes of children and parents parading in large groups in front of my eyes.  I can't help but feel elated by the engaging smiles, sounds of friendly families, and excited voices of children of all ages. As I watch the parade of costumed characters, dressed in their ghoulish garb or fairytale princess looks, I realize that the neighborhood is once again alive with children's laughter and the spirit of connectedness, for it was but one year ago when the annual trick or treat event was dimmed by the Long Island disaster, Superstorm Sandy. 

This year, it appears as if there are no remembrances of a menacing storm that darkened the neighborhood last Halloween. There is a clear walkway for the parade of gleeful celebrators of Halloween. As I watch the scene, I sense a spirit of bonding and happiness. There is a feeling of newness that was lost by the events of last October. Halloween is a happening this year in my neighborhood in Rockville Centre.

I keep staring at the scene outside my window because there seems to be a Norman Rockwell spirit that pervades my neighborhood. Watching families join together, sharing the sheer pleasure of togetherness appears to be a throw back to years ago when my own children were walking the streets of the neighborhood with buckets in hand and parents towing in the background. Remembrances of years gone by overrides the memories of last Halloween when the streets were barren, the houses dark, and the general feeling of sadness and exhaustion caused all to be heavy of heart. I take what I see this Halloween as a sign of a new direction. 

As nightfall begins to darken the sky, the after dinner trick and treaters are still coming to the door. Luckily, the candy bowl has been replenished after a mad dash to the supermarket. The doorbell seems to ring every five to ten minutes, but it is with pleasure that my family greets the little children that seem to be having a wonderful Halloween this year. I am truly enjoying this event that is connecting the neighborhood together once again and I hope that this is so all over Long Island. 

From my neighborhood to yours, I wish you the spirit of connectedness.

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