I read a Facebook post this week that has stuck with me. A father was talking to his young children about people coming and going, about how things are constantly changing, and his extremely bright young daughter said, “Nothing gold can stay.” That insightful young girl quoted Robert Frost. She’s 10. I am so impressed by her wisdom.
Now to be honest, do you know what I think of when I hear that quote? Think back…early 80’s… Can you hear Ponyboy saying it? I can, and I still love the movie The Outsiders. What beautiful words but so much more poignant from the mouth of babes.
So fall has finally fallen in our little niche of the world. Just today I saw fiery red leaves ablaze on a maple and warm orange leaves in a haphazard pile. Fall seems to show up so much later these days. Weary, fading greens hang on and on in Tennessee until they finally give up around the first of November. Fall seemed to show up earlier when I was younger. Maybe it was the lure of Halloween or the later starting date of school, but I seem to remember it arriving at the end of September.
To say the least, my students are literally thumping with Halloween excitement. They’re downright giddy as they count down the days until Friday. Their joy has had me reminiscing about my youth and what I loved about the holiday. For me, it was the lure of the plastic mask and matching outfit. Can you remember trying to breathe behind those things? My favorite costume was the Darth Vader costume I wore when I was 10. Yes, I loved Star Wars, but I can’t remember why I chose Darth Vader over Princess Leia. Best I recall, I never even considered being Princess Leia. And of course the candy played a huge role in the excitement – and it was more for the smell than anything. (Well, that and eating the candy of course.) Have you ever sniffed a large, mixed bag of candy? Try it – it’s the smell of spooks and giggles and youth.
What are your favorite memories of Halloween? What are your most cherished memories of fall? I hope you add to your memory stash this year. Happy Halloween!