The spiced aroma of street markets and changing colours of trees that lined my home town. The harvest festivals, the brass bands, the cold crisp air on my face. I spent my summer holidays as a child, longing to return to school; longing for September and the festivities to begin.

I deliberately sought out the first signs of Halloween to appear in the aisles and windows of shops. Pumpkins, witches hats and black capes made my stomach turn with giddiness. Halloween was much more than dressing up and walking the streets in search of sugar laden goodies to fill my hessian bag; this was a time of craft, creativity, family and tradition. It was also the start of a transition – from the mundane, to the rich season of hope and kindness, rekindled love and spiritual discovery.

My memories of autumn are undoubtedly filled with colour and joy, and framed by the magic of myth and tradition. From Pagan festivals to Christian celebrations, this was and indeed always will be, a season that captures a fusion between the real and the imagined. And despite being synonymous with children, the deep rooted traditions of Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas can’t help but capture the hearts and imaginations of men and women the world over. 

“this was and indeed always will be, a season that captures a fusion between the real and the imagined”

Creativity filled community halls, music filled the streets and hope filled homes, as people began to think about changes; resolutions; transitions. And if you only went to Church once, you went in autumn; usually for midnight mass, before you opened your heart to those around you, and friends you had yet to meet. All was forgiven. And forgotten. 

Unsurprisingly, the feelings of hope and joy in autumn are still felt as I approach my mid-thirties, with feelings becoming more overwhelming each year. Fireworks, toffee apples, black cats and baubles; all excite the senses and illustrate the journey of hope, in the most beautiful and enchanting way.