old october

Return To Old October

“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to the field, hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.” -Thomas Wolfe

Autumn begins in late September under the cusp of the September equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Christian calendar, this is known as the Feast of St. Michael… the darkening of days into longer nights. It’s also time for the reconciliation of the past year’s events, a time to forgive others, a time to forgive ourselves as the extended darkness leaves time for reflection.

This year as political divisiveness increased and the destructive effects of hurricanes and other natural disasters, I was thinking that autumn was called off and October postponed. But not to fear, the world still bundles up tumbling toward the elusive shadowy world that is October.

The richness of fall colors creates a sense of wonder as it hides the secrets of death and decay, as we hold on to the last leaf, the last miracle of life. But we’ve yet to realize that in death life must rise again. In this, we may lose light to darkness but we are gaining something far more precious; a mystical light.

October is a ‘thin place’. Thin places mark the boundary between what was and what is; light and dark, good and evil, the reconciling of opposites; this is the month for meditation, mindfulness, and awareness. For one can easily get lost in October’s beauty and live forever inside the mind. However, we are not meant to live in only one hemisphere. We are of both, time and space. And we can make October a month of peace and transition.

Days of light growing shorter give way to darker days and the merriment of witches and goblins by month’s end. The ritual of Halloween, a precursor to the holiday season as death and decay are allowed one last dance. County fairs and festivals are familiar to October as a sense of community and coming home guides us to Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year and ending with the Feast of the Epiphany on January 12, collectively called the Season of Advent and ritualized by the lighting of candles.

A State of Mind
Looking back over my life, it appears October has been a singular event for me in many ways as the first frost, like a sheet of crushed ice across the top of lawns and the roof of houses and barns jogs my memory.

The end of the harvest… the harvest moon… the music of Bach… sleeping with the windows open… old dogs warming their chilled bones by the fire… geese flying in formation… black birds… bats rising up from the rafters of the barn heading toward a nocturnal ritual…the sweet fragrance of Gardenias… the delicate colors of Pansies… freshly brewed coffee… the season’s first hot chocolate… days of contemplation and wonder.

The end of the fishing season and the beginning of the hunting season…the picking of apples and the season’s first taste of apple cider… long walks in a deep wood… the laughter of children out for recess in the chilled air… the sweet taste of sugar cane…my grandmother’s red and white checkered apron, reading Poe’s Raven by the fire.

The reflected light from the setting sun causes brush strokes of orange and blue…the night sky seems clearer and closer as the cat sleeps longer… dogs bark louder…hobbits drinking beer in the post-dawn sun… bats are returning from a hard day’s night as squirrels gather nuts and acorns for their winter stores… the pumpkin patch…scarecrows…red-tailed hawks.

All things on earth point home in old October.


*Image courtesy of Pixabay


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I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in October of 2012. These are my writings of life and love after the fall but during a time of deep creativity either because or in spite of my illness... Peace and Love... JC

34 thoughts on “Return To Old October”

  1. It may seem odd – I don’t live where there is a real Autumn, yet I love everything about the season. For desert dwellers like me, it’s more a mental exercise than a visible reality. But maybe that’s enough. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully stated. I agree, a large part of fall in Florida for me are the first days where the windows get opened and that still warm air with its tinge of cool weather comes through the house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful description of Fall. Love how descriptive it was!

    It is an ending and beginning all in one. I am from Michigan. We mourn the summer, yet feel the time clock of wanting cooler temps, and still enjoying the outdoors as much as we can, till winter arrives. It is a gentle way of reminding us what is coming. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This was such a great read JC! Autumn’s always been my favorite season too and October especially since it’s my birthday month haha I love the fall weather and the fall colors, the way the leaves fall to the ground, you laid it all out so eloquently beautiful writing JC!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved your musing — it sounded like a list of my favorite things! October is my most favorite month, and you’ve even mentioned Poe’s Raven which is near and dear to my black heart. 🖤😊 I picture your silhouette against the fireside with a pen in hand. Happy October, JC — may the ghouls and goblins be kind to you. 👻🎃☠️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fear not, October has definitely not been postponed! 😀 It is as beautiful and lyrical as your writing…every autumn I wonder how could I quite forget that magic! The crisp cool morning air is energising, the crackling of dried fallen leaves beneath my feet still a delight as I relish the feeling as I kick them into the air. Oh yes, the heating is on, a cold 4 degrees centrigrade in the morning and hot chocolate for cosy warming breaks…welcome October…I just wish the clocks would not go back so soon, when dark envelops us just after four. A magical tribute to the season, Jeff…enjoy yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Annika, for the good news about October. I couldn’t imagine the seasons without October. Even in Florida, there is a subtle change in the air. We do miss out on fall colors as our leaves turn from green to brown overnight. But I do have plenty of pictures of snow and fall colors from when I lived in North Carolina. Enjoy your October… jc

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very poignant writing. You bring forth not only the images but the feeling and essence of October.

    For us here in Canada, late September is the climax of fall beauty, though the first half of October is usually enjoyable as well. In October, the many bare trees, aging ground leaves, and darkening, colourless days serve as a constant reminder that the jaws of another winter are circling, drawing ever closer.

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