It’s that spoooooooky time of year. In the U.S. we call it Halloween. In Mexico it’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). In Italy they call it Tutti i Santi (All Saints). In India it’s Mahalaya. And in the Celtic tradition it’s known as Samhain.
Across cultures and throughout time, the waning days of October and early November are considered the time when the “veil is thin” and the spirit world is closest. It’s a time of honoring our ancestors, and remembering our own mortality.
Because it’s the season, and perhaps because we are spending so much time with our friends at Lakewood (Minnesota’s most beautiful and historic burial grounds), we’ve been thinking a bit about death. Not to be morbid, but there are lessons we can learn by studying what happens at the end . . . which can and should inform how we spend our precious time here on this green and golden Earth.
In this insightful interview, Frank Ostaseski, author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach the Living, shares some welcome wisdom:
“People often discover at the time of their death that they’re much more than the small, separate self they’ve taken themselves to be… We’re all in this boat together. All of us are subject to this experience, and recognizing that causes us to be kinder to each other… We let go more easily and this engenders a certain kind of generosity and gratitude in our life.”
For many of us, it’s frightening to contemplate death. Yet there are times when we walk through our days like zombies—failing to appreciate the gift of life, and forgetting how very indebted we are to our loved ones and the generations who have come before us.
Ostaseski continues, “When we come close to the end of our life, what’s really important makes itself known. For most people, it’s about relationships.”
So as those witches and goblins take the streets, and there are tricks at every turn, try to see past the masks and stay connected to what’s important. And mix up a batch of this spirit-forward potion if you really feel like living it up!
The Spyglass Spirits Rising
A seasonal, Spy-inspired take on the classic Negroni
1 part Mezcal (tequila’s smokier bro)
1 part Aperol (Campari’s sweeter sister)
1 part Capano Antica (vermouth’s classier cousin)
Pour all ingredients into a cauldron filled with ice and use your broomstick to stir the potion. Strain and pour into a chilled chalice. Garnish with an orange peel and toast “to life!”