It’s Hallowe’en again, already. October 31.

I love this time of year, and hate it. The leaves blow urgently across the roads in mobile piles like lost souls. Beautiful, but an obsessive’s neatnut nightmare. Listen carefully and you’ll hear a distant leaf blower, 24 hours a day. There are more dead squirrels on the roads this month. In the rush to pack away nuts they don’t look both ways.

Santa and Satan battle it out in the stores, the pitch forks on the backside of the aisle of nativity scenes. The juxtaposition is delicious. Both holidays are about death, but then everything is, ultimately. I felt compelled to ask a woman in line ahead of me at Zellers how her cartful of glow-in-the-dark skeletons help her to deal with the undercurrent of panic at the awareness of her imminent demise. I was buying plastic apple blossoms.

Every November I slump a little. Maybe its the smell of musty leaves, the shorter days, or closing the cabin for another winter. Jasper and I spent a brilliant week there this month — keeping the wood stove lit, playing with the neighbour kids on the farm, walking in the trees. I have to keep this memory with me this month to battle the blues. It may sound silly, but I’m comforted by my trees in PEI. But that’s another story.

So Happy Hallowe’en!

Watch this space for more pictures soon — I have so many to post, so little time. But I’m happier when I write here, so I will be at it more this month.

A selection of pics from Walden, October 2004

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