After a busy weekend of Halloween festivities, we wanted to keep Halloween night as relaxed as possible. With the cooler weather finally sweeping in (!!), we decided to grab some seasonal coffees and walk through a nearby neighborhood with Kipling (tutu on of course) to see all the decorated houses and trick-or-treaters. Honestly, it made me happier than I could have ever imagined. The neighborhood goes all out with their Halloween decor, and I’ve never seen so many (adorable) trick-or-treaters in my life. I felt so giddy with excitement – almost like I was a child again. But why?
I couldn’t quite place my finger on it. Besides feeling some major nostalgia vibes for my childhood, there was something else. And then I realized – it was the celebration of community that made my heart soar.
Sure, humans have to live and work in communities in order to survive, but it’s much more than that. I might venture to say that a significant factor in one’s level of happiness is being surrounded by those we love – feeling like we are a part of a bigger picture, that we matter. Community gives us the sense that we are not alone – that we are all in this (metaphorical) boat together. It’s why we fantasize about small towns (like Stars Hollow) – because we want to know our neighbors and have arbitrary festivals at the town square to celebrate one another.
So as I was walking the neighborhood streets – seeing the homeowners out front with their jack-o-lanterns and buckets of candy, hearing the children call out “Happy Halloween!” as they ran away from the door steps, watching the parents smile with excitement at the site of a dog in a tutu – I felt so in awe that this community came together to do something 100% voluntary for the sole happiness of strangers. Especially living in such a big city as Los Angeles – where you can feel overwhelmed and lost among the hoards of people and traffic and city lights – it was such a special reminder that pockets of community do still exist. That humanity still exists.