Friday, October 1, 2010


Photo by Janie @Southern Lagniappe

October gave a party,
The leaves by hundreds came;
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.

The Sunshine spread a carpet
And everything was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
-----------------George Cooper

I’ve always thought that the year should start in October instead of January. January just grabs ahold of you in an icy grip, keeping you befuddled with the aftermaths of the holidays and all that work and cooking and traveling and celebrating. January is a Pipsissewah of a month, a cold-in-the-head, car-won’t-start time of year, with grumpy people with their heads down struggling against wind and umbrella and ice, the mere feat of standing erect on skiddish streets a burden and a task.

But OCTOBER, now---October is just the best time of year there is, with the golden days and the whish of leaves and the turnings, turnings. The leaves turn and the birds turn South and the time turns from shorts and sandals to comfortable sweats and that favorite old sweater, taken out for the first time in two seasons, snugged on in a cool twilight, as the savory scent of something-in-the-oven wafts out in welcome.

Just walking around outside is a marvel---the air feels silky on your skin and the sun lights gently upon your hair, with a different scent, a different FEEL to everything---better and better as the season progresses. The sight of the harvesting, the change in the produce of the markets, the farmstands offering the crisp fruits and the cider and the huge orange bulk of pumpkns and gourds---we just went to one today, picking out two more cushion-mums, a loaf of wheat bread, six apples, and a watermelon-green-striped gourd like a bashful goose.

Somewhere a long time ago, I read a quote something like, “If I have but one month left to live, let it be October.” I would echo that---it’s always been my favorite time of year, with the air and the light and the rustle of leaves and just the OCTOBERNESS of it. Not because it’s cooler after the summer heat (which is important), not because it ushers in the Holiday Season (also a good thing), and not because of anything in particular which happens or has happened then (though we DO like Halloween).

That’s not it. The month has a personality of its own; it stands on its own, unlike any other time, and I’d know it with my eyes closed. There’s a huge daily enjoyment to the month, with all the sheer exuberance of the color and the brightness---you can just BE in the moments of it, and just enjoy. A simple walk around the neighborhood takes on a different slant---swishing your feet through the leaves, or seeing the swirls of leaves as they drift down like snow, or admiring the Autumn blooms and decorations on the neighbors’ houses and lawns.

Things to do the first few days of October:

Bake cookies with Sweetpea.
Go to Waterman’s Farm to climb the haybales, go through the cornstalk maze, and ride the hayride to the pumpkin patches.
Bake a Bundt cake---a beautiful golden-yellow one, fragrant with vanilla and cinnamon.
Decorate for FALL.
Simmer this beautiful Corned Beef for several hours in its tangy brine, then add in carrots, baby potatoes and wedges of tender cabbage---serve just at twilight on a cool night. It would be enough just to enjoy aura and the scent all day---there’s a satisfaction and a contemplation to having something savory going for supper, and knowing that it will take time and that things are progressing as they should.

There are lots more, and I’d love to hear YOURS.



Beverly said...

Rachel, I must and will have my husband read this post. He is a true lover of all things October, too. Every word will speak to his heart.

And, while I do love October, April is at the top of my list.

Kim Shook said...

I could FEEL it today! I didn't need a coat this morning and my car was HOT when I got in after work. But there was a tiny hint of glitteryness in the air. It's coming - and I'm SO glad! Gorgeous post, dear!

Maggie McArthur said...

Ah yes, October: "Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness."It's tied with June for my favorite month.

Just breathing in and out in October is ambrosial. But I am so amped: Next week I'll be driving along the Ottawa River, in the blaze of a Canadian autumn forest!

Jeanne said...

Hello Rachel, October is my favorite time of the year, plus it is my birthday month. I have loved this month since I was a little girl old enough to remember. The fall leaves are awesome and the change in the weather just makes me happy. Well, I am happy anyway but this time of the year makes me happier. Smile!

The first thing I do is decorate for fall and Halloween. Nothing sinister like witches etc. Just happy Jack O Lanterns and lots of candy corn. I began to cook differently too. Stews, soups and baking pies. Fall colors begin to appear in many ways. Tablecloths, center pieces, table tops and mums galore. A bale of hay, pumpkins and a scarecrow to welcome anyone who comes over. I keep apple cider in the fridge and love to buy apples to keep in bowls on the counter. I think you get the idea.

Happy October back at ya!
Hugs, Jeanne

Southern Lady said...

What a beautiful picture you painted of October, Rachel. You captured it perfectly with your words, as only you can do. Everything does seem brighter and clearer ... and shadows even fall differently.

My "Things To Do" list include: Plant Fall flowers, straighten up the attic, and take some day trips and explore some little towns with my camera.

Happy October, my friend.