I love autumn. I love everything about it. The crisp smell of the suddenly cool air, like waking from drowsy sleep into the possibility of sunshine. I love the still, shrouded mists of morning and the bright, clear, coldness of the afternoons. I love the crunch of leaves, the nip of spices, and all the potential of a new season.
I love the coziness. The cookies and the cocoa and steaming cups of cider. I love the candles burning warmly in the early dark of evening.
And I love the colors! The warm, wrap-around-you, draw-me-inside, snuggle-up, run-outside surge of color beckoning from every element of hearth and home and earth and sky. Is there anything more comforting than the gold of corn husks, the orange of a pumpkin rind or a flickering candle flame, the brown of fallen leaves and pinecones, of cinnamon and cider?
Halloween comes right at my favorite time of year, and perhaps that's why it always takes me by surprise. I can't think of any other excuse. It comes right at the tail end of a very long month. Surely that's plenty of time to prepare? But somehow, I always find myself scrambling in the last week of October, neck-deep in school and the insanity of the blessed, bountiful life, trying to slap-dash assemble costumes and crafts and cut-out cookies...
Somehow, it always comes together, and the whirlwind way in which it does only adds to the beauty of it all. There's a vivacity to autumn. And maybe that's why I find it so uplifting. This strange and glorious season where we celebrate the beauty of dying.
I know, I know...Halloween is gory and scary and pagan and occult and any other label we can think to slap on it that makes it seem "bad." I know there is a darker side, but I have yet to experience it. In our home, we have always found a way to hold onto the light with open palms and gaze on it in awe.
That is the miracle of autumn. Fallen death is sanctified. There is a natural reflection that points us to what comes next. There is a celebration, a waking up, and a letting go. There is a drawing in, a homecoming that makes me look to heaven and wonder if it will feel this good going home one day to Jesus.
Halloween, when celebrated with an eye to holiness, is not a glorification of death. It's simply a healthy exploration of the only future that awaits us all. We celebrate All Hallows' Eve as a gateway to our celebration of the saints. Perhaps this is all of autumn, culminating in a night of light and shadow, family and laughter and costume and sugar and smiles.
At it's root, I find Halloween is a celebration of the soul.
It is also a reminder. Of what's to come. Of the homier home that awaits. Of our dreams and our fears and our hopes. It is a promise that the good will triumph, the night will pass, the sun will rise, the flowers bloom, and the leaves come back again...
On the day we are all called home. That blessed day when we will dance with the saints in light and celebrate the most beautiful season of all.