As an Ogden native, I have a special place in my heart October in my city. As autumn approaches, the city is shrouded in colors, mysteries, and festivities that both enchant the spirit and warm the soul.
Early in the month the mountainsides begin to turn soft shades crimson, amber and copper. The color creeps, slow and clandestine down the jagged slopes and into the valley. Along the Ogden River Parkway, golden arcs of willow and elder trees glow against the autumn sunlight. I stand in a clearing, a cathedral of yellow light and soak in the warmth, knowing the sun’s days are numbered. The chill in the night air creeps in like a spirit and has traces of winter in its breath.
Ogden’s historic houses, clustered in small neighborhoods over the city lend well to October’s enigmatic mood. Mysterious shapes and faces appear inside the broken windows of an abandoned historic house. They beckon me to unravel their mystery, but I settle for capturing their shadows with my camera lens. I linger instead inside a coffee shop to ponder their secrets over a spiced pumpkin latte.
As the month wears on, spooks, spiders and spirits appear in merchant windows. Dusk falls and storytellers roam the streets spinning tales of saints and thieves who still haunt Ogden’s darkest corners. Clouds of crows appear in the city all at once, as if October was their master plan. They linger on high branches, cunning dark spirits with watchful eyes, observing mere mortals in their ordinary lives.
Toward the month’s end festivities play out in the town like a rhythmic chant, beckoning All Hallows Eve. Witches gather, zombies crawl, phantoms and fairies try their hands at whimsical games. Children parade through the streets in masks and capes, singing songs their grandparents sang at those very doors, on those very corners so long ago.
In the heart of the city, Union Station glows like a jewel against the autumn sky, brought to life with history, cheer, and the celebration of her community. She too has a love for October, for she’s once again a gathering place, a beating heart and harboring soul to the city she built.