October is my favorite month. I love the golden quality of the light and the way the sun seems to be slanted just right throughout the entire day. I love the warmth of the sun that has just a hint of chilliness underneath it, a promise of winter’s kiss. I love the sound of leaves rustling on the ground under my feet and also skittering across it in the wind. I love the moon in October, every phase of it, more than in any other month. I love the sunsets of October, feeling the cool fall night come down with the setting of the sun. I love the turning of the leaves, the browning of the vegetable plants, the drying up of the final fruits of summer. The energy is gathering, pulling in, getting ready to hold itself close so that it can burst forth into another spring in a few short months.
My father’s birthday is in October. My youngest brother’s birthday is in October. My parents got married in October. I got married in October. My daughter got married in October. One of my very best friends in the world also has her birthday in October (our anniversary date, in fact)!
October also contains my favorite “holiday”, Halloween, or Samhain. I love this holiday, not so much for the decorations or the trick-or-treating which of course are fun, but for the deeper, spiritual feeling of this time of year.
Samhain is the time when the “veils” between the worlds are said to be at their thinnest, and I can feel this all during the month. It’s difficult for me to describe, but it’s almost as if the voices of all my ancestors whisper on that warm-cool October breeze, sending messages. It’s up to me to try to hear those messages, so I always pay closer attention to the wind in October than in any other month. It’s a time when the moon beckons at full and the stars call when the moon turns dimmer. I want to sleep later in the morning and go outside at night. There’s also always something interesting to see in the yard at this time of year, whether it’s the wood spider that is making her web in the daytime, to hordes of painted lady butterflies on the remainder of the zinnias, to finding a tomato melting into the ground in an odd place and smiling at the thought of a new volunteer in the spring, to seeing long V’s of geese flying low over the park in the morning and evening.
I want to walk in October. Each block I go brings new aromas–someone here is cooking a chicken dinner, this house is having one last back yard barbeque, and someone there is already starting the wood stove. October holds so many stories all around; it’s as if you can feel people starting to settle in for winter, preparing for the short days and dark nights ahead. Even though we have gotten far away from really living by the seasons, there is still a pull inside us that says, “Winter is coming, get ready.”
Here, we are pulling up tomato plants, draining the pond, raking up the great number of tomatoes that did not ripen and are now too frost-nipped to do more. Today, I picked a few last peppers. Last night, I made yellow-tomato chutney that I need to put in jars tonight.
Son-in-law is over with the boys (no school today for conferences), and they are digging up the flower bed on the far side of the hot tub to pour concrete around it so we can have a circumferential walk space. He’s also going to pour concrete into 5-gallon buckets with 4 x 4 posts in them so we can move them around as we want to either hang up privacy curtains or not. It’s good to watch them work together, good to have them call him “Dad” freely and openly and see them hang and hug on him.
G’s PT went well today. The therapist encouraged her to just keep at it; that she was doing well despite her setback with the fall. Given all the other nerve damage she has, it’s just going to take a little longer for this leg to catch up. Another reason for an October celebration!
Winter is coming and we are getting ready.