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Called Home Again By the Effusive Graces of October

October 6th, 2012 by Michael Dyet

“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.”  ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, American Novelist and Short Story Writer

Hmmm, is there anything quite like the grand, old dame October?

Each month of the year has its claim to fame. But the 11 sisters are hard pressed to compete with the effusive graces of October. As Nathaniel Hawthorne so eloquently expressed, October exerts its’ influence on us like none of its siblings can.

The experts told us not to expect vintage fall colours this year. The summer long drought, they warned, had sent trees into early dormant states. But October seems to be of another mind. My 18th floor view looks down upon an October pageant of colours quite equal to any other year.

A row of trees there cloaked in harvest gold still freckled at the edges with late summer green. Here and there outbreaks of burnt sienna like autumn flash fires. Accents of hushed scarlet fringed with muted yellow from the more humble species.

More shades of green than I’ve ever conceived of: frosted, white-flecked green and ever vibrant evergreen… stone-washed, watercolour greens and spruce-blue, winter greens.

Even the sky gets into the act. Early morning today was sunlit with periwinkle blue and mint cream clouds. Now its mood has shifted to pearl gray clouds that drift northward with uncertain intent.

October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again. ~ Hal Borland American Author and Journalist

There is no getting around the fact that October is a time of transition.Each leaf that loosens it grip and spin-tumbles to the ground is one more step toward winter.

But October is much more as well. It is the harvest season when all the fruits of summer’s labour are, literally and figuratively, gathered in. It is the season of thanksgiving, of reflection, and of clearer vision. So often we only see the beauty when it is waning.

October has a character quite unlike any other month. It dresses itself in the metaphor of homecoming – calling us home from our summer sojourns and beckoning us to linger awhile as we watch its kaleidoscope of hues, emotions and semblances.

Such a shame that it holds court for only 31 days. It doesn’t seem nearly enough. But perhaps that is October’s moral: Time is short. Life hurdles on. So live in the moment, embrace change and waste not what is gifted to you.

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

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