While I was passionately professing my love for October to a friend, she said, “Talk about waxing eloquent! I thought I was listening to Elizabeth Barrett Browning for a minute there.”
I told another friend I felt a “stirring” inside, and she asked, “Are you expecting?”
Giggling, I answered, “Of course not! It’s October!"
Perhaps I am a little too exuberant about fall. But after a long, hot summer of watching those around me juggle already overloaded schedules in order to pack in more summer fun—I’m tired and ready to relax.
Today, it is 69 degrees and sunny with clear blue skies and a slight breeze. Leaves of all colors are beginning to decorate my front yard and a tall maple tree is rapidly turning orange, casting a warm glow throughout my house. In the evening, the scent of autumn is distinctive. The moon is surrounded by a hazy glow. It is a restful time.
Trees and plants prepare to rest… and while they are resting, their underground roots will prepare for a rebirth and the flourishing of new growth in the spring.
My husband, who does not share my passion for fall, declares that there will be no rest for him until the leaves are raked. I appeal for a little more time to enjoy them, but it is to no avail. He will dispose of them long before the last one falls, leaving in their place a dull, colorless landscape.
But I can’t worry about that today. My beloved October has returned—with its brilliant colors, cool temperatures and sunny, cloudless, azure skies, and I must enjoy it before it escapes for another year.
Fall is so beautiful, yet so fleeting. I never understand those who say they hate it because it is the forerunner to a long, cold winter. I think there is a lesson to be learned here about “being in the moment.” Many wonderful things are missed by worrying about what is coming later instead of enjoying what is now.
“Let me stay in this moment... forever!” I said aloud, as I drove home from an appointment this afternoon. The hills are speckled with color. Dazzling reds, oranges and yellows stand out amid dull greens and browns. Warm sunshine, less intense than it was a month ago, highlights the beauty of the mountains.
I think about how the changing seasons remind me of the cycles of life. Spring’s awakening, summer’s bounty, autumn’s harvest and winter’s rest… each one a beautiful experience.
I liken springtime to childhood and youth. With the support of a loving family, we learn about life, acquire our values and begin to venture out and explore things on our own. In time, we break away from family and enter into our summertime. There, we may establish a career, get married and raise a family—or both. Perhaps we meet God in this season. Ultimately, we find our own special identity and make our mark on the world. Our lives are so busy that we are unaware of how quickly time passes and, before we know it, we move into the autumn years.
Autumn—the harvest time of life—when all that we have done during spring and summer comes to fruition. We reap the rewards of a successful career, or the years we spent raising children. We may begin to come to terms with our mortality. Like plants in fall, we start to prepare ourselves for a well-deserved rest. This can be the most fulfilling season. Almost unnoticed, winter occurs. We continue to enjoy life. We grow spiritually. This, too, can be a rewarding time if we keep a positive attitude and resolve to live each day to the fullest.
This is October for me. Withdrawing into my own world, blocking out everything except the beauty of the season, my reflections, and my relationship with God, I find that this is enough to sustain me through the long cold winter, and beyond….