Did you know Dayton is home to a longstanding Halloween tradition of displaying hundreds of candlelit pumpkins on the hill behind the Greek Orthodox Church? Imagine the love poured into this collaboration from the volunteers who band together to gift our city this breathtaking sight.
The ethereal event is known as the Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow. It could easily be the backdrop of a classic movie set, and it is undeniably an interactive artistic experience. No picture will ever compare to the almost sacred vigil of watching the pumpkins' delicate candlelit fires dancing in the late October chill. I suggest you bring a mug of coffee, or cocoa, as you stroll along the hill and marvel at all the intricate creations. The Pumpkin Glow is situated in the historic & charming Grafton Hill neighborhood near the Dayton Art Institute. The area is surrounded by gorgeous homes & many residents are the very ones who generously carve the pumpkins for the grand show.
A couple years ago, I took my sons for the first time. We walked the streets waiting for the sun to set. In 2012, Kevin (6) & Damian (2), seemed so big to me. We were at the beginning of another deployment and I was spinning my tires in work obligations & single mommy duties. It can be tempting for me to skip these little activities when I am overwhelmed, but I hastily decided to make the six minute drive that I do not regret.
These pictures remained untouched for two years until I lost them in a corrupted hard drive. Thankfully, I had backed them up and could retrieve the files. When I opened this folder to see a fuzzy hat on my Damian & Kev's innocent little smiles, I cried. Each imperfect photo is meaningful, and not just because I thought I would never see them again. I didn't consciously know that this season was the slow beginning of becoming permanently separated. Or better explained, I couldn't admit we would eventually divorce. This night marked a new habit of celebrating who we are and where we live. It is what I now refer to as "tether and fly."
Instead of extending all of my energy pining over an ideology of happiness that is no longer possible, I find joy to be abundantly available when I'm brave enough to accept it from unconventional places.
I do not regret the six minute drive.
Now I realize they were oh so small and this was oh so big for us.
"It’s fleeting, and that’s what makes it so special.”
You can read more about founder Judy Chaffin and her story and vision for creating the legendary Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow in this article by Dayton Most Metro.
The Pumpkin Glow on Stoddard Ave is a free event at 8:00 PM on
Thursday October 30, 2014 and Friday October 31, 2014
Say 'hi' if you see me there! I will probably be telling Damian to stop trying to make the pumpkins roll down the hill!
Thank you for joining me here. I am a wedding & commercial photographer, writer, and mama. All content & photographs are my own. The images from this post were taken with my Nikon D700 and edited in Lightroom. © Andrea Bell of Tether & Fly.
I now use multiple hard drives to back up files as well as an upgraded Dropbox Account and a cloud based backup company called CrashPlan that I highly recommend.