Poly Halloween

My mother used to tell me about a time of year when she was growing up in Southeastern Poland called “Babya lato” or “woman’s summer”. It was a time like right now, when the days were shortening, getting cooler, the leaves were turning, the wind and mist and fog mysterious, dew points changing. At this time you might exit your home and encounter, full face, a finely made spider web, with bits of captured insects included, the mistress of the web quickly scurrying for cover. In my mom’s home and youth, people would brush these weird and beautiful constructions aside and remark: Babya lato! It was a demarcation of a turning of the seasons. Not awful or terrifying, but strange, other wordly, visitations. Maybe, it is that kind of memory that encourages people today to buy all sorts or paraphernalia to decorate their homes for Halloween: like the ubiquitous shreds of polystyrene “spider web” that is stretched across so many porches. And the plastic skulls and ruined witches, and endlessly bloody corpses littering our front yards. What are we trying to say?To represent?For me, that endlessly mysterious sound of wind in tree, of wing overhead, the quiet knowing eye of rabbit and owl, the discovery of a deer skeleton, perfect and clean, on the forest floor,the red tinged leaf,this is the mystery and power of the season.A season of ending, and remembering, of connecting with the memory of past and the promise of a tomorrow, of spring and renewal. With that, I share with you the first of three stories that I have created.This one is called “Luz”, about a little girl walking home from school.I hope you will share it with your children as one substitute to the diet of horror and fright that seems to saturate this blessed and mysterious season.

Mr. Leki