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the time of the season

October 1st. I hold out my arms in welcome.

My calendar is divided into two sections; October, and everything else. I spend eleven months out of the year wishing it was October, wishing that it would rush forward or come back, depending on the month I'm stuck in.

It's hard to explain an obsession with a month without coming off as someone who is, well, one month short of a calendar, if you know what I mean.

But here it is, October 1st and I move into another realm of living. My adrenaline kicks in. My energy level bursts forth. My desire to get things done, to start new projects and complete old ones, to write, create, and just live all fire their jets at the same time and I am a rocket ready to take off.

It's 48 degrees right now. It's still dark out at this hour of the morning; normally the stars would still be slightly visible and the moon would be giving a silvery glow to the autumn clouds moving in. Today, there is an extra dose of darkness. Rain clouds hover. The trees make noise in the wind, like the rustling of paper, and when the leaves move the birds move with them; crows and doves and gulls taking flight, spreading their wings against the threatening sky.

A few leaves fall to the ground; they are tinged with the first yellows of autumn. The dark yellows come first and its just on the edges of the leaves, as if the weather didn't have enough time to full work its magic before these early leaves became victim to the season. Soon, the reds will appear, then the browns and oranges and the trees will look like a forest fire, all those burnging colors set against the grayish morning skies of October.

The trip to the nursery comes soon enough. Pumpkins, bales of hay, mums in colors that mimic the trees, a few scarecrows and a wooden black cat complete the package. I used to have a small, plastic cauldron filled to the brim with gourds of ridiculous shapes and sizes, but the squirrels would come and have a feast, leaving my cauldron overturned as if a beggar witch had come in the evening looking for scraps. Now, I just buy a few gourds and throw them right under the oak tree. The squirrels thank me by leaving my pumpkins alone.

Everything gets set up on the lawn in a precise formation. It is my homage to the time of the season. To the crisp air, the incredible colors, the creepy fall moon, the witches and goblins that haunt the neighborhood on the last day of the month, the readiness.

And what am I ready for? For everything. For trading in my tank tops for sweatshirts, for taking the air conditioners out and putting the storm windows in. For putting the cover on the pool and the summer toys in the shed and dragging out the fake spiderwebs and well-worn scarecrows. For the anticipation of everything that comes after October; apple pies, family gatherings, hay rides, Christmas lists, the shopping and the secrecy and peeking into closets to stare at the wrapped presents. The last of the leaves finally letting go of the trees, leaving them looking like bony fingers pointing at dull grey skies, until one of those fingers pokes a hole in the clouds and the snow comes down, bringing with it winter and hot chocolate and warm fires.

It is October. My calendar does not have to tell me this. When I walk outside and the wind is an old, dangerous witch whispering secrets in my ear, cold and ticklish, it's time. I feel my first goose-bump shiver of fall. The anticipation of spending an entire month soaking up the finest artwork nature has to offer, backdropped with a barely audible, but fully present, crackle and hiss of electricty in the air; this is what being alive, being in the here and now is all about.

It is October and I am fully alive.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference the time of the season:

» Sweet October from Joey the Lemur
Michele has written a wonderful homage to my favorite month (and hers). There's no use trying to improve on it, so just go read.... [Read More]


It's odd -- October is my favorite month of the year, and my husband's least favorite. (Of course, we got married in October, but these preferences pre-date the wedding.)

I love the smell of October air.

I think the thing I love the most about October is it is the first month where night falls much earlier in the evening thereby making it seem much more normal when I start drinking Jack Daniels at noon. In the summer, it just feels weird to be seven sheets to the wind at eight o'clock and it's still light out...

Wonderful piece...thanks, made my morning.

Here is why I like October:

Baseball playoffs, football is in full swing. Hockey and basketball are starting.....yes!

Michele: BRAVO. You have eloquently and beautifully stated many of the reasons that October is my favorite month.

I know a guy in Texas who loves the Fall season so much he married a lady nameed Autumn.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Glad to hear there are others that share my love for October.

I have lived in Southern California for the past ten years now, strangely enough, California has it's own sense of October, (excluding Palm Springs). Not like the Northeast of course, where I grew up. I 'll never forget all those Spring and Fall days and years, helping my father lift the air conditioners into the windows in the Spring, and then taking them out in the Fall. God, I hated those days. Until last week when I was home for my mother's 80th B-Day. My father said, "Jamie, want something to do"?
I was very happy to still have this opportunity again, which is now one more memory.

Thanks Michele.

Wow, Michele, you captured my feelings exactly! I like elements of all the other seasons, but Fall is definitely my favorite, and October especially. It's late enough that the air has a nip to it, but it's early enough that it's not downright cold and soggy like November can be. Your words were right on the money.

I guess I should have mentioned that October gives me an irresistable feeling of nostalgia and melancholy mixed with excitement and anticipation. It's a unique sensation.

I live in California and it's still like f**king July. I blame it on Davis.


Get ahold of Ray Bradbury's The October Country. It's his second collection of short stories, and some of them are real gems.

It is the greatest month, and not just because I was born right in the middle of it! The air smells crisp, the filthy spiders & moths & other summer-night filth start to die, actual pumpkins in actual edge-of-town pumpkin patches, the frantic activity of the Scrub Jays as they hide the loot for the winter, the earlier darkness just when we're ready for it, and of course Halloween -- a holiday I don't even celebrate but still love. A time for scotch and a good book, records you couldn't find the time / mood to properly enjoy in summer, going to movies again because what the hell, it's dark out.

The first leaves are falling, here in my current hometown. The coyotes have a weird song these days. And another several weeks of no "climate control," just close the windows at night and start thinking about the fireplace. Perfect.