Sunday, October 9, 2011

October. The Month of Splendor

All months have their special and unique aspects.  Even July and August with their stifling heat and humidity have something unique to contribute to our lives.  But there is something about the month of October that makes this 31 day stretch more special than any other comparable time.

October is the month of transition.  The declining number of hours of sunset now has nature hastily preparing for the cold and desolate months of winter that lie only weeks ahead.  Sit back and look out your window and you will see birds eating more and more in preparation either for flight south or the dreary days with little food to be found.  Squirrels scamper about the yard, often carrying in their jaws a walnut that has just dropped out of a nearby tree.  Even the trees get in on the act as the chlorophyll begins to retreat in the leaves uncovering the spectacular colors of the season most of us wait for with eager anticipation.

It is a time in which we humans begin to convert our lives from mainly outdoor activities to ones spent indoors in the warm glow of the family home.  The exception to that is the Friday night ritual called football.  All across the land, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, and the media gather in mostly small stadiums to watch their high school athletes play at America's passion.  Marching bands at halftime and stadium blankets are all a part of the ritual as the chill of the October evening descends.

October is a month of magic.  It is a month that we all seem to come alive in some fashion, refreshed by the cool breezes from the north.  It is the doorway to the holidays and suddenly, a day like Thanksgiving doesn't seem so far off.  It is a month when people actually notice nature in all its splendor, when the family jumps into the car to do nothing else but look at the colorful leaves.  At no other time does the family just simply take a ride into the countryside for no reason other than to be there!

October's promise is the promise of life fulfilled.  After the heat of a long growing season, farmers flock to their fields, gathering in the literal fruits of their labors.  Take a ride down a country highway in the Midwest on any given October day and you will see the tell tale columns of dust hanging lazily over the fields that are being harvested.  Each dry day now is not a day to be dreaded as they are in the spring as planting gets underway.  Rather, a day without rain is a day to be cherished and thankful for during the great harvest.  Clear blue skies mean uninterrupted hours of harvesting and that ensures countless livelihoods.

October is the month of life.  yes, nature is preparing for her great hibernation, but it is not death.  The colors of the trees remind us of just how alive and spectacular nature is.  The creatures of the forest gather stores of food not because they fear death, but because they embrace life and instinctively know that the rebirth of spring awaits them.  We, too, prepare for the cold months ahead by gathering friends and family together for the day set aside to celebrate life and all it has to offer.  We call it Thanksgiving and, for most, it is truly a day of rest, companionship with those we love, and a deep-seeded gratitude for what he have.

Celebrate October.  Don't miss one day of it.  Absorb it like a sponge because there are no two Octobers alike.  This one will come and go and we'll have our memories and photographs to mark the days of this unique one, but know that God will once again grace us with this month of splendor.  This magnificent October!