I was raised in a suburban Vancouver, and then raised my kids in suburban Vancouver, up until September. And as with many things from our old life, we didn’t realize what we were missing, until we got here.
Hallowe’en. A night of chaos in the city suburbs. There is this underlying level of panic, and competition that takes over the kids. Will they meet up with their friends? Will we get back for fireworks? How much candy will they get. We had a good thing going in our hood. All the neighbors pitched in for fireworks and there were gaggles of kids hitting the streets for treats.
We thought we had a good thing, but last night was something beyond my expectations.
I hadn’t realized I didn’t love Hallowe’en. I hadn’t realized how much it stressed me out and exhausted me.
Living rurally, no one is going to come knocking on our door. . . there is just no way! So, knowing we didn’t need to leave a candy hander at home meant all 5 of us could hang out together all night.
We hit the streets (ok, street) in Fulford where we heard the south end locals congregate on Halloween. The kids stuck together and hit up the houses (about 30 of them)
It took us an hour and a half to do the 30 and we probably burned 1200 calories walking the hills and long driveways.
But, along the way, the panic for more, more, more was gone. Once we did this neighborhood we were done. There was no racing to the end, it was about enjoying the journey.
Not only that, but the homes we visited enjoyed the experience as well. Many of the houses had guest (apparently all the grown ups hang in Fulford as well so they can SEE the trick-or-treaters) And every adult was in costume (note for next year! whoops) People took time to ask the kids about their costumes and have a conversation. At once point my 6yr old said to me “I finally understand Halloween Mom, It is about getting to know your neighbors”
I thought that was cool. Because we did get to know people tonight. They had prepared their homes for the onslaught of SaltSprings youth (probably about 100 kids in the area last night) and they welcomed them.
SaltSpringers enjoyed this night. They prepared for it and embraced it for what it was. The costumes were amazing, and well thought out. There were no garbage bags of candy being hauled around, it was quality over quantity. Again.
The weather had cleared, and we enjoyed seeing all the pumpkins and saying hello to every (yes every single) person we passed on the dark streets. There were bonfires on the driveways and a calmness I had never experienced before on Halloween.
It was peaceful. It was amazing.
Once done our rounds we hit Ganges for the community fireworks. I was so happy that it was me and my family. We hadn’t lost any of the kids to their friends and we were all together, chatting and enjoying the evening.
Bed was at 8pm, hours before we would have finished trick-or-treating in the city. The kids were in awe by how much candy they got (38 pieces. . . I know!) and my eldest said, “Mom, I can probably eat all this candy instead of having most of it go to waste”
When people ask me what I want out of life, i tell them “enough”
Just enough. Enough work, enough play, enough of everything. Not too much and not too little.
Halloween here on SaltSpring was just enough. It was the perfect balance, and in its balance, it was magical!
So again, well played saltspring! From the rain clearing 5 minutes before we left the house, to the warm community spirit you spread on what is normally a night of chaos. To the stars coming out during the fireworks and the beautiful bags of treats so many of your residents gave out. To the creative (awe inspiring and artistic) pumpkins and yard displays, to the handmade costumes. You have again found your unique style in Halloween.