When I was a child we never really celebrated Halloween or did anything for it. It wasn’t as big a thing back then, plus I grew up in a relatively Christian household. I used to watch kids in films go trick or treating, see houses laden with carved pumpkins, ghouls, tombstones…and I swore that when I had kids I’d do lots of those kinds of things too.
This year I’m hosting a Halloween party at the weekend, with a friend, for some of the lovely Littles we know. We’ve been decorating our house this week and getting ready. There are pumkins in our windows, scary faces, witches, bats. A skeleton hangs outside in our garden. Soon spider webs will go up, ghost sheets and black balloons ready to hang. And costumes to be made.
I love Halloween. This is Ray Bradbury land and if I can occupy it even for a few moments, I will. It is such a fun, magical time of year with so many arts and crafts to engage in. And it signals a time of drawing inwards and reflecting.
Yesterday we went to York Maze and spent the day amongst crowds of monsters, witches and goblins, hunting down clues in the tall corn maze, slinging pumpkins, even watching a ‘phantomine’ (though I’m proud to report my daughter seems to have inherited my deep hatred of them). I navigated a ‘house of confusion’ with Ezra strapped onto me and Ava by my side.
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The older Ava gets the more we are spending whole days out, visiting places, travelling through towns, playing and learning. I can see glimpses of what our unschooling days will looks like in the years to come when my kids develop specific interests which will fuel adventures. For the moment I am somewhat guided by the seasons and the richness of the world around us.
This morning we had a pumpkin carving breakfast and Ava watched Hocus Pocus. Ava is already in costume and is casting spells on everything she sees. We’ve been reading Halloween books (my favourite this year is ‘Scary, Scary Halloween‘) and we made a trip to get some of our favourite toffee apples (from Waitrose) earlier, before helping friends with their costume, aided by my hot glue gun.
This is the best time of year – adventures in the day and wrapping up in quilts in the evening. The year is starting to close, and I am feeling the need to withdraw a little and take some time to rest, after this weekend, and before the weeks of Yule are upon us, surrounded by the warmth of good friends and the whoops and yowls and frolics of joyful wee ones.
It seems perfect timing that wordpress tells me this is my 250th post here, since I’ve been in this space for nearly 3 years now. I’m thinking a lot about different things I’d like to do here soon, and how I can spend my time a little better in general. Some letting go of things that no longer work, and embracing the things that do.
‘For these beings, Fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth….Such are the autumn people.’