Fall is truly my favorite season! So many traditions make it that way for me: the evening air turns crisp and paints nature a vibrant array of colors, football season dominates the weekends of sports fans, eating yellow vegetables is totally cool, scary stories and tales of ghosts pulls me into the pages of my favorite books, cemeteries are my favorite haunts and humankind waits for Halloween when tricks and treats stalk the streets as adult and children alike shed their daily image and don a new identity.
Year after year, from times earliest record, All Hallow's Eve has been a night of tradition. Fires burned in ancient Celtic rituals celebrating Samhan, hallowed Saints were honored by Christians and European folk traditions collaborated to create the Halloween we celebrate today in America.
Of course, I am one who has grown up loving "The Great Pumpkin" with Charlie Brown and was always the first in my family to create the perfect costume for trick-or-treating through Millcreek. Too soon it seemed I was designated as "too old to trick-or-treat". Yet as an adult, there is still a compulsive draw to the mystic moons and creepy cemeteries that become "appropriate" when Fall makes it appearance.
Why is that, do you think?
I don't have the answer of course, but the desire is there and excitement builds as I anticipate becoming my favorite alter-ego, a pirate, and my house converts to a grotto filled with treasure, an authentic wheel from a ships' helm (held by a long-dead helmsman whose skeleton features send chills down young kids' spines as they watch him sailing a sunken vessel in a foggy night). Torches will burn and lanterns will flicker, lighting the path to the candy waiting for any mate who'll come aboard shoutin' "Trick-or-Treat!"
May ye all be safe an' have a most Happy Halloween!