How can you not love this time of year — where we witness the last sighs of summer as autumn releases its first cool breeze washing over us while brown leaves crunch underfoot. October signals the first of three very uniquely themed holiday months. It brings with it the magic of the holidays, a time where the year is growing old and we interject a few very special days to remind us to not take life so seriously, to come together and celebrate our creativity.

Halloween manages to bring out the creative spark in so many of us, from decorations to costumes and of course the classic carving of the pumpkin. The Jack-o-lantern was the first project I slated at the beginning of this year. It was also one I almost didn’t do.

You see it was the night before Halloween, I was exhausted from a long day’s work and I had no pumpkin, no design, and no gumption. It was a random playing of a song that finally got me in the spirit and to that pumpkin patch. Then, I did something I had never done before, although I didn’t realize it right away.

Alone, I sat at my kitchen counter after quickly sketching out a face to carve. Soon an odd and strange feeling began to creep over me. As I started to plunge the blade into the pumpkin a feeling of melancholy oozed from my brain. What was going on? Then, like the knife slicing through the soft flesh, it struck me — I have never carved a pumpkin alone. I was disrespecting the spirit of the holiday, of the togetherness it embodies. After I was finished I looked at my creation again with new eyes. Its expression, frightened and alone, mirrored my own experience.