Thursday, September 30, 2010
Who among us of a certain age does not have a certain wistful, almost sentimental feeling about the month of October? It is a month of contrasts and dramatic changes that delight and intrigue all at the same time. The seasons have finished their transition with the beginning of the month as the pageant of color begins its magnificent parade. Wildlife of every kind can be seen busily gathering food and eating more than their normal share in preparation for the cold, stark months ahead. Afternoon skies, deep blue more so now than at any other time of the year, begin to usher in the chilled evenings as air conditioning gives way to fireplaces and iced teas give way to hot chocolates and soothing hot tea. It is a time of magic, a time of shifting our gears as our playground now begins to shift from outdoors to in.
Again, who among us of a certain age, cannot fail at this time of the year to remember the aroma of leaves burning in late afternoons and early evenings. Neighborhoods would gather on their lawns for the annual harvesting of the summer leaves now lying still upon the ground as precious tree sap retreats to the insulation of underground for their winter nap. Those leaves only days before painted canopies of color that even the most talented of artists could not possibly capture with any accuracy. The gentle winds of the season blow them about as those released from their branches dance their way to the earth.
We retreat indoors more frequently and, in some ways, rediscover each other. We reach out to family and friends for more substantial meals beyond the hot dogs, hamburgers, and ribs of our summer cookouts. Aromas of slow cooked sumptuous meals fill the house with an intoxicating smell that cannot be experienced in any other way except for being there in the moment.
The boys of summer close their season as the gridiron warriors take center stage, the nation's pastime giving way to the nation's passion. Football parties in living rooms, family rooms, and the ultimate fans sports room takes on a ritual feel.
Chilly rains and leaden gray skies lead us to think more frequently of the upcoming months, the months filled with holiday preparations. Afghans appear on the backs of couches as the weather cools and cozy becomes a comforting thought. The north winds begin their season long dominance as the southerly breezes make fewer and fewer appearances. Thoughts of snow begin to creep into the consciousness as reports reach us of mountain snows in the distant Rockies.
October! A month of excitement and celebration. A month of warm sunny days at the start of the month, and a month of crisp autumn nights as the month closes out with ghosts and goblins roaming the cityscaspes and countryside. There is no other month like this one because nature delights in ways beyond the color and enchantment of spring. For a few short days, the colors seem beyond that of nature as we treasure our moments with them, knowing that the browns and plain colors of late autumn and winter await.
October calls us to live life to the fullest. To enjoy each passing day with the enthusiasm of a child who sees their first multi-colored leaf. It invites us into ourselves and our families unlike any other season and month. It calls us to treasure the moments of our lives when family warms our hearts and gives us the comfort of life continuing no matter come what may.
October! Come, October, and enchant us all once more!