Wow, we knew it was coming, but this weekend was cold! We spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday harvesting the last of the tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. And putting up low, long white tunnels to protect crops we will harvest through the winter. Like I said, it was cold! I couldn't help wishing for the warmer temperatures of just a few days ago. I don't want winter to come!
When that was accomplished, we got caught up in our kids' Halloween preparations for good friend and farm member Jennifer's annual soup party. While I planned a hearty chicken noodle soup, Liam transformed scraps of a 55-gallon metal drum into knight's armor. Aidan recycled his warm lumberjack costume, and Marlee became Harley Quinn, the Joker's girlfriend, complete with crazy make-up and hair.
I've always dreaded Halloween. I remember in third grade when Mrs. Schutz asked us to write down our favorite month (November for my birthday). Then she asked for our least favorite, and I answered October solely because it was the month of Halloween. I dreaded being scared and felt it foolish to have a holiday that celebrated fear. Even though we got lots of candy and treats, I was always relieved when Halloween was done for the year.
That changed when our kids became old enough to get excited about dressing up. They spent weeks deciding what they'd like to be and how to best achieve their visions. They experimented with making props out of cardboard, paper, fabric, and wood and applying make-up. With help from Bill and me, they sewed capes, carved axes, constructed headpieces, and wired up tails. Instead of associating the day with creepiness, I began to see it as a creative, fun holiday. A challenge to look like someone or something else with the security of knowing that underneath the costume, you were still yourself.
We're also are celebrating Halloween on our farm by dressing up our vegetable beds in costume. They've changed into big white caterpillars which hide familiar beds of vegetables. While this doesn't have anything to do with parties or soup - well, maybe as soup ingredients - but it, too, is about transformation and change. Changing with the seasons.
Maybe that is actually what I've become more comfortable with. Maybe change isn't as scary to me because as I've gotten older, I trust in the underneath. I trust winter will in turn become spring just as I know Harley Quinn with her very stereotypical campy trappings will change back to my Marlee. I trust that even though life will present challenges, we will transform and find ways to deal with them, even when it seems impossible. Changing doesn't have to be scary.
Happy Halloween! (and I mean it.)