Time turns in the season of ghosts and pumpkins — #Berkshireweekend

The world is turning bare in the sunlight. A few days ago the temperature fell below freezing, and the hillsides changed shape overnight. In the last wave of brightness, the maples have become silver and spare and the oaks are turning from green to copper. Rain water caught in a tarp forms membrane thin rimes of ice.

I came out early to pick up my last Caretaker farm share of the year, sweet potatoes, delicata squash, red onion. In sweater and coat it was warm enough still to sit in the wooden swing chair at the top of the fields. That chair holds a sense of rest and sunlight. It’s tall enough to lean your head back against the slats, and it rocks slightly like a dinghy in a cove.

Winged figures sit side by side on a jack-o-lantern in the gardens at Naumkeag.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Winged figures sit side by side on a jack-o-lantern in the gardens at Naumkeag.

Halloween is about transition time — I’ve seen that thought more than once. In the shift from warm to cold, these few days become a time to feel the world more closely.

This year I find myself looking for sense memories. I want to remember how it feels to look toward a winter rest with a store of energy and sweetness from the summer. That may be as simple as a cup of cider or tea made from herbs that grew here, or a local ginger cookie, or a beeswax candle that burns with a scent of honey.

Remember how it feels to put on a mask because it makes you feel adventurous? Remember the dress-up fun of bright clothing and paint on the skin because you feel at home in your own skin — the way it feels to gather in energy with the confidence of an actor walking onstage … Remember how it feels to walk at night fearlessly, come up to any neighbor’s door and knock and know they will open? …

Walking by candlelight

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Orange and gold tulips bloom at the annual Daffodil and Tulip Festival at Naumkeag in Stockbridge.
Apr 21 2024 @ 10:00 am
Naumkeag's annual Spring Celebration returns for its 5th year, as the eight acres of gardens bloom with bulbs to celebrate spring in the Berkshires.
Young lambs curl up together at Hancock Shaker Village.
Apr 21 2024 @ 10:30 am
Celebrate the arrival of spring with the village's merino sheep as they get their annual haircuts in a woollyweekend of family fun with all the baby animals.
A boy and a lamb walk by the pasture at Hancock Shaker Village.
Apr 21 2024 @ 11:00 am
Hancock Shaker Village welcomes visitors to meet their newest farm babies – lambs, piglets, calves, chicks and kid goats, and enjoy events and activities throughout the Village.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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