Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Night of Family-Halloween for Me

I have always loved Halloween, in old Irish Samhain (Sow- won), celebrating the spirit world, and all those souls that came before me. Far from a night of terror, I think of it as a soul celebration, and invite all those that have passed before me to join and be celebrated.

I started my day by cleaning the house, getting things "in order" for the week. I went out to the vegetable garden and found the last three pumpkins to carve for the holiday.This year, I decided to carve my jack o' lanterns with the family names of my Irish heritage. I thought it might help welcome my family to my spirit party!

I began looking for all things Halloween, and found some likely candidates...My glossy black Sumatra hens were dressed for the occasion! They had a large helping of pumpkin guts as their "treat"for the special day. At work, I've carved A LOT of jack o' lanterns...at least twenty five I think, most were for a fantastic party one of my clients has for her lady friends, they go all out!

After I fed the birds their treat, I went to the greenhouse and found some more likely holiday faces, the always cheerful pansies gave good face..like goblins with a sunny disposition ;)

I spent the rest of the daytime gathering wood and brush for a huge bonfire later in the evening. The days get shorter and shorter, and I was really rushing that last hour of light, assembling my pyre for the night. I came inside and made dinner, then set about carving my pumpkins for the night. I loved that they were my own produce-I buy a ton from a specialty grower near me, and they do a great job(Schaakes' Pumpkin Patch) but these were the last from my own hands, and that gave my great joy! When I was done with the carving, I lit them, along with lots more candles and had dinner. Was I alone? funny, I felt like I was in great company! I took my orange friends out to the site of my bonfire, and gave them a proper seat for the festivities-an old Victorian wirework plant stand was perfect!

Then it was time to set it all a blaze....the perfect temperature for a good spirited fire. It only took a few moments for it to really take off, and boy, did it burn!!!

I enjoyed the flames until after midnight, the sparks rising higher and higher, disappearing into the black and starry night. When the fire was behaving in a more manageable way, I took the pumpkin with my mother's family name up into the woods where my mom's memorial Oak tree stands, surrounded by her ashes- and placed the ceremonial offering at the base of her tree, glowing a beautiful, rich orange in the dark.

Maybe, just maybe,I'll have flesh and blood guests for this event someday, but I was not alone, that's for certain! I hope everyone takes a bit of time to celebrate those that came before us, and say thank you for the life we all enjoy! Happy Halloween to you all ;)



  1. Magical! I can feel the warmth from your blazing fire. Wonderful photos! ;>)