There is a perceptible slant to the evening sunlight in October — especially in the South, where families traditionally gather outside on the porch to talk about daily events and share long drawn-out stories.
Typically, during these impromptu “meet-ups,” one or two “raconteurs” always seem to carry the bulk of the conversation using wildly exaggerated dramatizations to emphasize a point.
Surprisingly, most porch party “attendees” don’t seem to mind.
In fact, they often look forward to the comic relief.
In my family, these evening “get-togethers” provided previous generations with much-needed respite from the constant machinations of old “Jim Crow” and his faithful cronies.
Today, many Southern families continue to maintain some variation of this tradition by assembling in backyards or on porches and patios to enjoy a cold beverage and a “lie” or two.
However, as evening turns to dusk, these conversations inevitably shift from mundane tall-tales to full-blown supernatural spectacles!
Rest assured, there will be talk of ghosts and other unusual events from unseen and unknown realms.
As a child, this was always my favorite part of the deal.
Even though many years have passed since then, I can vividly remember my grandparents telling us about all of the “haints” (a Southern term for “ghosts”) that frequented nearby antebellum mansions.
I’ll admit that those “haints” have followed me all the way from my grandparent’s 1970’s porch in Alabama to my present-day porch in Georgia.
And now, this October, with its impending Halloween, harvest blue moon, has inspired me to revive those spirits — along with the tradition and art of oral storytelling.
With that as my goal, I encourage you to consider engaging in this enjoyable and timeless tradition with your own family and friends.
Now, if time, space, or distance prevents that from happening, feel free to virtually join me on my patio this evening around sunset.