And I think of my beloved Scottish grandparents, who left their exhausted farms in the Orkney Islands to begin new lives in United States in the 1920s. I recall the knee-cracking highland folk dances they taught me, and the silly lyrics to their rural old-country tunes. I remember their hard-won wisdom, and how much I still miss their love.
Like my Celtic ancestors, I'm moved to take stock of my own "harvest" -- how much I've accomplished throughout the year, and how many things I've left undone. My to-do list is yards long. There are parts of the world I haven't seen; stories I haven't written; debts and favors to repay. I marvel at the mellow beauty of the season, which has always been my favorite, but also feel a little sad that one more year is drawing to its close.
All said and done, I like to think of Halloween as the big good-bye party we throw for autumn's final weeks. And a toast to the year ahead. All in good fun.
This article first appeared at www.ReadTheSpirit.com and is reprinted with permission from David Crumm Media LLC.Cindy La Ferle is a nationally published essayist and author of Writing Home, an award-winning collection of essays celebrating home and family life, distributed to bookstores by Wayne State University Press. Visit her web site at www.laferle.com