The Art of Darkness

Happy Halloween

October 31st, 2007 by Cobwebs

SpiderAutumn begins with the appearance of these beauties on my front porch. They’re Araneus cavaticus, the common barn spider, and half-a-dozen will string their webs from the roof to the railing and sit, plump and fuzzy, each evening. Much more than a leaf color or a calendar date, these are the harbingers of fall to me.

The leaves, however, are also gorgeous. I grew up in Southern California, where palm trees abound and deciduous trees are confused. Here in Virginia the trees take autumn seriously. They burst into a riot of color, all vying for your attention, and then just as suddenly they’re gone. The trees lift naked limbs to the sky. Standing outside in the chill dark, looking at the moon through stark, bare branches, you suddenly understand why ancient cultures believed that autumn was when the year died. The veil between worlds seems much thinner now.

And the gauzy veil is the best part of all. Ever since I first grasped the notion of hinges creaking in doorless chambers and candles flickering where the air is still, I’ve anticipated Halloween more than all the other holidays combined. I loved it growing up, I got married on Halloween, and I welcome its return every year like a cherished friend.

I think it’s safe to say that I am utterly besotted by Autumn. What’s your favorite part of the season?

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »