This time of year always provides all the ingredients for a unique recipe of both anticipation as well as a mourning or melancholy. Summer is a season of celebration; it is soupy and sultry and sweaty and sensual and steamy and stimulating and spicy and…well – sexy. The warm sun, gentle breezes, lush green, and plethora of smells serve to envelop all your senses and is nothing less than intoxicating. Its loss as the inevitable transition to fall arrives always saddens me.
Fall brings so much with its arrival: crisp cool nights that eventually produce the season’s first visible breaths, the shuffle of the fallen leaves under foot, that first fire in the fireplace or wood stove, and of course – the impending celebration of Halloween! Yes dear reader, I know that fall also brings Thanksgiving and the promise of Christmas around the corner. And those are wonderful holidays to be sure. But Halloween? For me, it is probably my most anticipated holiday (while not a true holiday in the strictest sense of the word).
Halloween has always struck a chord with me going back as far as I can remember. The all-day long promise of scares and frights in the dark just simmers and steeps the entire day. Which only adds to the anticipation as there is never anything special about the day – it is average and ordinary and mundane with school or work or errands or whatever it is you do most any other day. That total and absolute routine of a typical day, with little or no regard for the promise of the night looming ahead, only deepens the unscratchable itch.
As darkness falls on that special night every fairy tale, legend, scary story, and nightmare that every crossed your path become real, tangible, and somehow possible. Every tree could have a demon or vampire or machete-wielding psycho lurking behind it. Every shuffling of leaves in the dark could be a goblin coming to take you. And every other person in costume could truly be a true vile creature and not in a costume at all. It is a night of wild possibilities where anything and everything that holds power over you – that has the capacity to completely and totally scare the bejesus out of you – can suddenly materialize.
And that is exactly what softens the bittersweet transition from summer to fall for me. I will surely write more on Halloween as we close in on that special day, but the change in daylight (both in duration as well as angle), the attitude of the trees (if you know what I mean), and the dialing down of the nighttime temps triggered this moment of transitional reflection. Stay well dear reader!