Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lovely October

Published in the Charleston Gazette - Sunday, October 11, 2009~

Like a child eagerly anticipating Christmas morning, my enthusiasm for fall has intensified each day for the past month.  It’s hard to say exactly when it happens, but sometime in late August, those who are “attuned” to the changing seasons, as I am,  begin to notice a gradual transformation.  Mornings and evenings become cooler while sunny afternoon temperatures continue to climb to the mid-eighties. Crickets fill the evening air with their mournful refrain in quest of one final mating before frost, and lightening bugs disappear.

Even my cat notices the change.  Liza Jane is keenly aware that just a short while ago, she owned a large spot of sun on the kitchen floor where she enjoyed late morning naps, and now, that same bright spot has moved to the front of a cabinet. She stares longingly at the sunlit cabinet, obviously wondering what happened. 

It’s useless trying to explain to Liza that, in June, the sun is directly overhead and therefore, shines straight down on the floor through the kitchen skylight, affording her a blissfully warm place to nap, but that, by late August, the sun has moved downward in the sky and no longer shines on the floor. She merely gives me that “you have mistaken me for someone who cares” glance that cats invented and leisurely strolls off to my husband’s den where the sun comes in at a different angle.

Feline contentment aside, it is an ideal time of year. Summer is over and we are slowly moving into fall. School is back in session, children are in bed earlier and life has become more relaxed.  It is a good time to catch up on things that there was little or no time for during the busy summer months – like curling up with a good book, listening to music, watching a movie you’ve wanted to see or spending more quality time with your spouse.

Then Lovely October makes her debut!  Each time it occurs, it seems more beautiful than the last. Mother Nature paints surrounding hillsides with brilliant shades of red, yellow, orange, gold and brown, creating a breathtaking landscape. The sunny days become shorter, the sky bluer, and the air crisper. As leaves begin to turn, a few opt to give up and fall to the ground early.  In a short while, lawns are covered with the crispy remains of summer foliage and all too soon the raking begins, removing the last vestiges of nature’s most spectacular season.

“October means winter is not far behind… and everything dies,” some complain.  But in reality, there is no death in fall.  It is a season of rest – a time for bringing our lives back into balance.  Most of us have family, work, church and social activities to coordinate and, in the busyness of our days, it is sometimes difficult. We find ourselves spending more time in one area than we do the others and our lives drift out of balance. Fall, with its slower pace, helps us correct that.

Just as plants are resting while their underground roots prepare for a rebirth and the flourishing of new blooms in spring, we, too, should rest and get ready for a new surge of growth and development.

If God, Himself, rested from His work after creating the earth, we should not be surprised that we also need rest… and I, for one, am grateful He gave us such a lovely season in which to begin it.
This story also appears in my book, Somewhere in Heaven My Mother is Smiling~

and in Front Porch Magazine


  1. I love October too Peggy. thanks for this nice story about it.

  2. I love October stories.I live in's already winter here. we don't see much of what you describe.It's beautiful.