October is a pinnacle time for me. Always has been. I actually get a little giddy as it comes around. But it’s also bittersweet. In the most Dickensian way it is the best of times, it is the worst of times for me.
Growing up October meant the shifting of hot summer days to blustery winds and the dance of the autumn palette of leaves. It also meant the coming of Halloween, the apex of adventure and good frights for every elementary school kid. The month has imprinted me with a heightened sense of the joyous hour of childhood. But it’s also left me with the residual sorrow that comes with losing a father in my teen years in the middle of Halloween’s month.
So it is as the air changes tenor and evening comes much sooner and the moon is playful and bright that I find myself of two minds; rising excitement; melancholy in reflection. Anticipatory embrace of the season; wistful yearning in what was lost.
I’ve written a lot with October as a backdrop. Mostly children’s fiction, a Halloween story or two, some non-fiction. It’s one of the most evocative times of the year to delve into. A sensory potpourri for the pen. Much like the joy and pain we experience in life, it’s hard to write about icy winds and skeletal trees without also having experienced the cobalt blue sky of a June day. Likewise, one cannot write about the bright light of joy or the effervescence of laughter without having experienced the hollow pain of grief and loss.
Still, I revel in the magic that is October, it’s duality in my life, the autumnal gifts it brings me as summer relinquishes its hold.
So I say come, October. I welcome you and all that you have been to me, with open arms.