As the dusky leaves do fall…

PS – I have no idea what the hell dusky leaves are but, dammit, it sounds all, you know, writerly.

Like it seems to make sense.

Sorta.

PPS – You shouldn’t begin the post with the end, but, you know, I just saved you from sitting through the credits. So, yeah, you’re welcome.

It has always been hard for me to put into words, writer though I am, the feeling I get when Halloween is approaching. It’s as if I am transported to childhood again and that giddiness is there all over again. The vague fear of darkness and the things that lurk beneath October leaves. I think that is a holiday that still refuses to be completely tamed. Sure, we have reigned it in, churches have tried to take the paganism out of it to make it a ‘harvest festival’ and we have done all we can to safe-guard the children but there is still a danger to the night. It is a holiday about death, about monsters, and about portraying someone (or thing) other than yourself. This is a holiday that is as much for adults as it is for kids and one that can be as tame as a painted face and a smiling pumpkin or as scar as a masked killer and a boobey-trapped room. The holiday is ready to be made and remade and daring you to do your best…or worst.

I remember walking the night with friends, the night full of laughter, of the heavy smell of burning leaves, and of the shadow of danger that always lurks that night. A hundred myths, a thousand memories. a million dares are all born this night where we taunt and conquer death and evil.

And yes, there IS death and there IS evil but they are there for us to master and overcome. Any night, any holiday can be used as a tool for vile deeds but this is a night that is there to own, there to take, and there to make of it what you will.

I remember that whatever the costume, as soon as I was out with friends, the weight of the candy I was toting the most real thing in the world, it was a sort of happiness that we rarely find in life. It was freedom that kids rarely feel. Close your eyes and you can feel the cool wind. Breathe deeply and you can smell the burning leaves. Listen and you can hear the cries of trick or treat.

Sure, I love a lot of holidays, oddball that I am, but Halloween is the one that is my true, first love. It speaks to me and says a lot about the person I am – a little dark on the outside, but chewy and gooey in the center.

Happy Haunting.

c

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