It’s been a little over a year since my last blogpost and as usual it feels like everything and nothing has changed. I continue to search out new ways to pass the time on the north of Vancouver Island.
This week I discovered a different aspect of the small-town spirit here in Port Hardy as the town came together to celebrate Halloween on the day of the dead in the form of a Pumpkin Patch Walk. Last year I didn’t know about this annual event but this year, despite the rain, my sister and I headed out to meet a friend for a candle-lit walk along the waterfront. Each year on the day after Halloween people leave out their pumpkins at the edge of the road to be collected up and displayed along the sea wall. I have never seen so many pumpkins in one spot in my entire life!
One of the things I miss about the UK is Bonfire Night on the 5th of November, so this felt like a Canadian compromise. There was a small (and I do mean small) bonfire at the end of the Pumpkin Patch Walk but sadly no fireworks – I’ll have to wait until New Year’s Eve to catch a glimpse of those. It was nevertheless a feel-good evening complete with hotdogs and hot chocolate by donation which was reminiscent of the Cub Scout events we used to attend as kids. There was also a lot less of a chill in the air than the British Bonfire Nights that I remember so we wandered around for a while, taking in the handiwork of much of the town’s inhabitants.
When the streetlights went down the carvings came to life and the designs did not disappoint; ranging from the usual Halloween faces to cute raccoons and intricate pumpkin sculptures. The fresh air and calming candle-light lifted my spirits too and left me feeling satisfied to have participated, albeit minimally, in the Halloween festivities this year.