Sunday, October 31, 2010


Irresistible to post this evening, Hallowe'en, with young people in the house, one as a "sensible bear", the rest as university students, in other words not disguised, and me in shiny red pants and tails, a ringmaster kind of outfit. But I am not in charge and that's restful. They're dealing with supper with a mix of pizza and other offerings...

I posted yesterday about my plan to head to Grey County last night for contra dancing.. and am so full of the fun quotient from the evening that I have to post again. First stop was in Markdale where I dropped in on my aunt and chopped vegetables- leeks, sweet potatoes, carrots - then cooked them with a lot of minced ginger in butter, added water and things like salt, soy sauce, a good vinegar, and presto chango there was a winter soup, enough to eat some, freeze some, give some away.

From there I went in the dark dark night (stars bright points in the blackness) to Glenelg Township Hall on Baptist Church Road, and the dancing began. There were fiddlers, one from Cape Breton and the rest from Scatter the Cats, a fab group with flute and fiddles and guitar and drum based in and around Owen Sound. We made lines and stars and do-si-dohed and alamained, and danced patterns that seemed elaborate as we were walked through them, and then became clear as we danced them and danced them. There were kids and grandmothers and lots of us in-between people of various ages... We finally rolled out into the cold night around 11:30, sweaty and exhilarated under those sparkling stars, with no other lights to be seen. What a privilege to be in real darkness.

I headed back to Toronto with some apples and butter tarts as back-up, but didn't need them, I was so buzzed from the dancing and the happiness that came with it. Keeping me company was a CD with Zakir Hussein and John McLaughlin and with flute by an Indian guy whose name I can't remember right now. It was hauntingly great, a live concert, and each time the CD started again I heard new mysteries and liveliness in the music, so I let it play over and over as I whizzed along.

Somewhere in there, between Shelburne and Orangeville, I saw a small flash of light on the road, and another gleam in the darkness, so I slowed. Good thing too, for it was a tall deer, with antlers and healthy unworried unhurried grace, standing in the middle of the road. The gleam was my headlights catching the light in his eyes, or the moisture, perhaps. Yikes! I don't think I imagined him, but now a day later... how can I be sure?

As I came over the last hills that overlook Toronto, the sky turned a weird War of the Worlds pinky-tangerine from the city lights' reflecting onto a layer of cloud. Coming into the city, as I drove eastward toward the downtown skyline, there, just above it, was an outsized orange-yellow half-moon, on her back because she is waning, a thrilling sight at 1.30 in the morning, entrancing and unreal.

Reality of a kind struck a little later as I hit Spadina. The sidewalks were packed, and the crowd strayed out into the streets, most in costume and partying, adult partyers in wings and headdresses and impossible shoes and face paints and, and. What a scene! Hallowe'en has become the North American version of Venice's Carnival, costume and disguise, role-plying and fantasy. Don't we all need that at times?

The kids have now come and gone (the best was a little girl as a unicorn, with wings), and we're eating the remains of the candy. We've been playing Scrabble and my kids beat me, again...

Happy Hallowe'en. And have a look at the moon. Next weekend is the new moon, with the excitement of Diwali, the festival of lights that marks the new year for so many.

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