The first year that I lived in Santiago, Chile, I was invited to a Halloween party.
My Spanish was rudimentary then. I remember how awkward I felt, being the only non-native Spanish speaker in the room. Most of the evening, I didn’t know what was going on.
Halloween is a relatively new custom here, copied from the US. My hostess’s daughter was ten years old at the time. She and her friends dressed up, and her father and I went with them as they ran from house to house in the neighborhood, ringing doorbells and shouting, “Dulce o travesura.”
They rang every bell, even if the lights were off. They couldn’t grasp the concept that “lights off” meant “no treats here.” Some neighbors weren’t participating in Halloween.
My son, Phillip, used to love Halloween. Every year, I went into Protective Mother Mode because I worried about things like razor blades, broken glass, and rat poison that the news was always warning us about in the US. But here in Chile, it was all innocent fun, the way it used to be “back home.”
Around the same time, a British expat friend and I decided to attended a fonda, which is like a fair with Chilean food, music, and entertainment. The evening was capped off with fireworks.
When I reviewed the photos I’d taken of the fireworks, I found something that my naked eye hadn’t seen. Little circles like bubbles in the sky.
I checked the camera lens for water, looked in the air for smoke or dust. Nothing. Where had these round objects come from? What were they?
After some internet research, I discovered that they’re called orbs. Some scientists claim that they’re caused by a reflection of light, such as a photography flash, or by dust or liquid particles in the air.
I don’t remember whether or not I was using a flash. The orbs showed up in many, but not all, of the photos I took that night. Were they simply weird tricks of light?
According to some less scientific types, these glowing circles represent spirits or “angels.” Call me sentimental, but I like this explanation better.
- Keep your pets safe at home, especially if your cat is black.
- To avoid eating candy that’s left over, buy Halloween candy that you don’t like.
- There’s more to life than meets the eye. You might be surrounded by angels unseen.