And We, Mack, the Pumpkin Queens
The crisp breeze that rides the waves of the ocean clips up onto the shore, blasting through thin sweaters and long hair, plucking the leaves off the deciduous trees of this temperate rain forest. The leaves, once green and ripe with the sunshine of the summer, have now lost their bright shades of nature, and with this loss of colour, they lose the life they once had. They are vulnerable to these offshore sea breezes, and do not resist when the wind whispers and rustles through the colourful branches that stretch out the weak autumn sun. This picturesque autumn blesses our Brentwood campus and is the symbol of change that its students will see in the upcoming months. While most think of fall with distaste, with its harsh winds, cloudy days, and increased rainfall, it cannot be avoided, and should thus be embraced. On Sunday, October 23, that’s just what Mackenzie House did.
This particular Sunday marked Mack House’s first pumpkin carving event as a house. The grade nines and tens expressed their artistic side alongside their “big sister”, a grade eleven or twelve who acts as their mentor in the house, someone who they can seek out for advice or for a coffee date uptown. With their carving tools and pumpkin in tow, the girls gutted, laughed, carved, and, most importantly, bonded in front of their home away from home in the last warm, full rays of the season.
The act of carving pumpkins is typical in many North American households with young children, so it was no surprise to hear that some of the girls had not carved a pumpkin in many Halloweens, or that a few had never carved one at all! But, as long as there is confusion in Mack House, there is always an experienced girl with a helping hand ready to make things easier. Even the dazed and confused were pumpkin carving queens by the end of this extravaganza, and it was certainly reflected in the ghoulish faces, stenciled designs, and creative carving that were etched on the pumpkins.
Creative heights were indeed reached that afternoon, and ranged in many different ways. From the classic hair-raising faces that are sure to haunt you in your nightmares, to ghosts rising from their graves, to pumpkins with an upset tummy that just can’t be contained any longer. It goes without saying that the few hours invested among sisters was a great way to spend the afternoon, both outside among the gourds and back inside the house as the girls roasted the pumpkin seeds that were collected. The smiles that lit up faces and the laughter that echoed across campus were a testament to the success of the gathering, and more than sufficient proof that this should become an annual event.
The pumpkins, now properly termed “jack-o-lanterns”, line the steps up to Mackenzie’s open doors, providing a good chuckle to those who walk by on their way across campus, and spooking the unaware in the dark hours before sign in. And there they shall sit, while that bone-chilling, yet familiar, wind wisps by, carrying with it the bronzed leafs of the season past rosy cheeks and cold noses. Though the air may be cold around campus and dampen some spirits, one thing it’s sure to do is provide better acoustics for song, conversation, and above all, laughter.
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