Gabriel García Márquez wrote:
“Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life.”
On Halloween we get a chance to let that secret life leak out. I like the chance to cover up my freckles and light hair and become some other person, if only for a night.
It is a yearly tradition—this being the eighth year—to walk the dirt roads of the tiny village where my brother and parents live, and visit about 10 houses. We know everyone we visit, and some years our group is the only trick or treaters the villagers see.
This year, I was Professor McGonagall, and part of a Harry Potter crew that walked through falling snow on Saturday night. We were joined by a convict, a much-moustached Mario, a cat, a half man half woman, and several muggles. Donning my small squared spectacles, I fell into character, peeking through the narrow space between the top of their rims and the wide black brim of my pointed hat.
The seven year old—who was Albus Dumbledore—and I had fun taking and giving points to Griffindor or Slytherin (both houses represented by others in our party). I watched through snow to see if Tonks’ hair would change color, and it did—mostly because it was more and more wet with melting snow.
The snow made us feel like Christmas carolers, and the kids called, “Merry Christmas!” as each new door opened.
Several houses offered fresh baked cookies along with candy. At one house we signed our names in the Halloween notebook and looked on previous pages to find our names and to see how our childrens’ handwriting has changed.
We walked a few long steep driveways and earn our treats. It was the weather that was up to tricks.
Trailing footprints in the new fallen snow, we wandered back to my brother’s house, its windows casting rectangles of yellow light out onto the frosty lawn. Hot chocolate was waiting for us.