October is passage to best time of year

By Angela Shepherd - [email protected]

Fall is just the best time of year and I think that is due in large part to the involvement of all the senses. Of course, one could argue the same about any other season, particularly spring, but that’s not where I’m going with this.

While September tends to hang on to the last threads of summer, October sees those too-bright blue skies give way to a variegated slate colored cloud ceiling. Green, green trees begin their slumber and let loose their leaves of glowing yellows, oranges and reds. Temperatures are cooler and the night chill is layered with the smell of wood smoke. And that night chill, too, makes a comfy bed hard to get out of in the morning.

Things are slowing down, preparing for the winter months.

I like slower. I like cooler, too. And I like the gray days.

Take Sunday. I was a total lay about and finished a novel that on Sunday morning I was only about 40 pages into. And I didn’t feel badly about that one little bit. Now, if it had been a warmer day, a day full of sunshine, I would have felt required to be productive, mandated to accomplish something of worth, but not this time of year. This weekend my productivity was measured by the number of pages I devoured and that is something that is only acceptable in the colder months.

Autumn means the bustle of summer is over, the rush to get the crops out of the fields nearly complete, we enjoy the fruits of the harvest, and then we wait while the earth sleeps.

Autumn means the beginning of a season of holidays with Halloween closely followed by Thanksgiving and then Christmas right around the corner. We make plans to dole out little, individually wrapped treats to the miniature ghouls and goblins that meander through our neighborhoods on All Hallows’ Eve, we settle on my house or your’s for holiday gatherings that bring the family together, and we think about the return of Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and the magic feeling that brings to young and old alike.

Autumn means it’s not quite so cold that you’re cursing your maker and all the saints, but just cold enough to get one of your favorite worn and wonderful sweaters out of the closet to which it has been banished for too many months.

And then the bright and colorful tones of autumn eventually give way to the muted and silent white of winter.

But, oh how it is when the snow is on the ground and falling still, the hush of everything is hard to explain, one can only just feel it and let it wrap around like a blanket.

And it’s all just around the bend, just over the next rise of technicolor trees drifting closer to slumber with each dropping leaf.

The air is more present, I think, and carrying the smells of the seasons, and footfalls crunch, be it on leaves or snow; the skies bear the gray strokes of a painter intent on the softness of how all that gray feels; the skin invites the cooler air; and the mouth waters when thoughts settle on cider, candy, and other goodies that the holidays soon to come bring with them.

I’ve written before about my less-than-favorable feelings toward summer, and those particular notions stand. It is fall that brings me to life and winter that solidifies it.

Spring is fine and all, and actually quite spectacular as everything begins to wake up, venture out, open up. But on the other side of that coin is the realization that summer isn’t far, and that’s what my mind thinks on — the heavy humid air and the heat, oh that nasty heat.

I think L.M. Montgomery said it most simply and best in “Anne of Green Gables” with the line, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Give me a gray day, a chilled day, give me October, give me fall and I’m a happy camper.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.


By Angela Shepherd

[email protected]