As I walk the neighborhood streets, late afternoon sunlight slanting golden through mostly bare branches, I take note of things in the neighborhood. The place where the Blue Jays can usually be found, which dog lives at which house (should they get loose and not have a tag), the types of trees I walk past.
Image via mbtramaon Flickr.
This season, mixed in amidst the crunchy litter of leaves on the lawns, I've noticed a change from the previous two Autumns I've spent in this community; Hallowe'en has crept in a little bit more. Now mind you, I'm not talking full decked out haunted houses like we had in our neighborhoods back home, but a recognizable effort on more people's part.
We're no longer the only house decorated for Halloween, not even in our cul-de-sac. Pumpkins sit guarding walkways; some already grinning from freshly carved faces. Ghosts and bats dangle from tree branches; flying in the chilly Autumn breezes. Spiderwebs, both real and fake, cover shrubs and mailbox posts. Blow mold ghosts and pumpkins grin at you from the road side. Columns and windows glow with orange and purple lights. The perfect trick-or-treating neighborhood, slowly awakening from a few years slumber.
And as I walk past these small signs of a resurgence, there is a renewed spring in my step and an ill-hidden grin on my face. The magics I well remember from my own childhood, which I had not so long ago worried may be lost and gone forever, seem to be alive and well in the hearts of more people. The jacks all grinning, the leaves swirling and the delightfully chilly weather we're having this Autumn in the South, makes me want to grab a mask and a candy bag and go Trick-or-Treating this all Hallows eve; I'm short enough to pass for a kid. ;)
Even the stores seem to have gotten it right this year as they've pulled back from gore and gross to more traditional Hallowe'en spookiness. Skeletons, black cats and witches hats have replaced some of the severed limbs and axe murderers in the shops, much to my delight. Now, if everyone could recognize the folly of "trunk or treating" and put this "Fall Festival" hullabaloo in the dust bin and bring back traditional Hallowe'en hijinks, I'd be inexplicably happy.
For Hallowe'en lovers like myself, but mostly for kids everywhere who are being robbed of the magic of that one special night in Autumn; Where you can grub for candy, laugh it up while walking the neighborhood with your friends, where what is normally spooky is fun and you can be anything your little heart desires.