When A Village Parades

Sitting here chit-chatting away, completely wrapped up, sipping our beer, and we both heard the jingle of the Mocha Shriners shoes, and sure enough, out through my little hedgerow, through my little Hobbitshire way,  we could make out the brightly coloured fabric of their iconic wardrobe, with those swirling toe shoes causing them to take those exaggerated strides.

He faded down the way to join the rest of the group who we could hear tuning their instruments, but we went back to our chat, until a while later when we could hear the music again and the parade began streaming past, striding along, mingles of groups of the costumed and not, no phones to be seen anywhere, didn’t see a one, which says something for how much fun everyone was having.
“Harvey wasn’t interested in the clothes, it was the masks that mesmerized him. They were like snowflakes: no two alike. Some were made of wood and of plastic; some of straw and cloth and papier-mâché. Some were as bright as parrots, others as pale as parchment. Some were so grotesque he was certain they’d been carved by crazy people; others so perfect they looked like the death masks of angels. There were masks of clowns and foxes, masks like skulls decorated with real teeth, and one with carved flames instead of hair.”
Clive Barker, The Thief of Always
It happens every year, and almost every year it is dismal weather, and every year lots of people still come out and the costumes are amazing, creative and make me smile, with the backdrop of the village turning colour, and the hoards of goblins and ghosts and parents dressed up in strange things, smiling, laughing, and all in stride towards the stage for the costume judging, and more music, and the village gathering. I like to be in villages that gather. In places that hang strong to that sense of community that this area is known for, of things that get people out, talking, sharing, laughing and especially those rare occasions when one can be silly. Or watch other people being silly. 
“THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—  
Touch of manner, hint of mood;  
And my heart is like a rhyme,  
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.” 
Bliss Carman
Gatherings of Autumn go back into our more agriculturally based pre-history,  All Hallows Eve. Though we have a few days still to go, the traditions are that the veil is thinner at that time and therefore the spirits can pass more easily, and not all spirits, fairies, or daemon that pass through are, well, not evil exactly since that’s a Christian construct to demonize the pagan faiths, but rather entities that may not have your best interests at heart, let’s say. The gathering, the costumes, are supposed to scare off the bad hoogy moogy, the daemons out there that would try to divide the many against one another, separating them from the network of strength a community offers. Even those who just like to poke their nose through their hedgerow to catch a glimpse totally enjoy the spectacle, the colours, the imagination, and even some of that magic that is so rare today, it too could be felt, as we both sat on my step watching them all stream past.

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