Monday, October 22, 2007
October Glowing (in the Gloaming)
My friend Linda called tonight and we spoke about the amazing October weather we've been having: all glowing and shimmering. There is something golden about low October light but both of us have a harder time when the summer days wane into an earlier dark. She said "there is an old feeling about the day and time." Yes! Old ~ That's the word I've been searching for all of these years to describe the early fall twilight that settles into darkness. But there is also an introspection, a melancholy. It is the time of day where if I were not making dinner or dealing with homework that I would otherwise want to slip into a quiet chapel for reflective evening matins. The recent warmth helps to soften the other aspect of fall: the growing cold.
When I returned from Kentucky a week ago I came from sunset at nearly 8pm and the hot warmth of a New Hampshire August. Our farm is a few miles from the Central time zone, but still in Eastern time, so the days are longer in the evening all year (I imagine in midsummer it doesn't get dark until 10pm). That added hour of light at the end of the day (instead of in the morning when we get it in New Hampshire) is a tremendous thing for me. In the span of the two days drive home I went from August to October again in terms of late afternoon light. It was a shock to my system. Crossing the New Hampshire border in Northfield, Massachusetts at twilight (a enjoyable ritual all of those summers driving to the farm from Ohio) I could feel the closing in of the trees and the dark. It took me a week to transition again.
My grandmother from New Hampshire (and who would have been 97 today, ironically!) sent us an album of Scottish songs when I was a child. I used to play it and dance in the living room in our Akron house thinking of my grandmother back on the farm. One song, "Roamin' in the Gloamin'" by Harry Lauder was a particular favorite. I've since learned that "gloamin'" is the twilight. This can be the most beautiful time of day most of the year but in the autumn it is the saddest part of the day for me.
Linda and Eric invited us to their annual Halloween party this year. The theme was black, red and white. Our costumes, while fitting the theme, were no where as great as some of the other party-goers who were clearly Tenney Halloween veterans. I hadn't played party games in years and after a delicious dinner we had a scavenger hunt all over the town where they live.
The festive decorations and party games reminded me of Halloween birthday parties I had with my friend Beth in Akron days. One year our mothers painted a spook house mural all over the cinder block foundation of the Tompkins basement. It is likely still there under the sheet rock. Beth and I were born a week apart at the end of October.
But hands down, Linda is the Halloween Queen! I wish that my camera (something is wrong with the lens) was working because her decorations were something out of a magazine. In fact, I'll likely be blogging with my unused stock photos for a while. (Or maybe I'll get a Canon Rebel for my birthday?)