Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Perspective

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 about them once again.
Hal Borland

October and I have a love-hate relationship.

On the one hand, October issues in autumn, one of my favourite seasons of all.  It is crunchy, vibrant leaves and cool air. It's sweaters and skinny jeans and the return of really comfortable boots. It's apple bread and spice cake and pumpkin muffins. It's rainy days curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a journal. I like to watch the year run out of time, to look back and see where we've been without yet having to think about where we're going next.

On the other hand, October means Halloween. All month. It manifests itself in ugly decorations of plastic bag ghosts, decapitated hands hanging out of car doors, and fake blood smears in the windows. Even on an Air Force base. Unfortunately. I admit that I have no appreciation for Halloween at all. Sure, it can be cute to dress your kids up, and trick-or-treating is a wonderful way to meet neighbors, but I can do without the grisly and gruesome. I've never been drawn to the macabre (even though I had a certain odd fascination with my Gothic Lit class in college), and so most of the time I ring in November with a deep breath of fresh air and thank God that All Saint's Day finally arrived. Does this make me stodgy?

This year, it seems that I'm getting the aesthetic horrors of Halloween without the balancing effect of fall. Oklahoma has been so dry that there aren't enough leaves to change colour and fall off the trees, and the temperatures are still hovering in the 80s and 90s. It's a welcome break from the 100s, so you're not hearing me complain, but it Admittedly, I've baked enough autumnal fare to make up for the lack of cooperation with the weather, and we did finally get in some good rain (which I am thoroughly enjoying), but I've been a bit sad to miss out on the lovely fire imbued trees this year. I think Virginia spoiled me.

Would it be innovative or pathetic if I went to the store and bought yellow, orange, and red streamers and used them to haphazardly festoon the two trees in our back yard? Because I am considering it at this point.


  1. Do ittt. Add it to the list of good ways to meet your neighbors--they'll think you've been vandalized and come help you clean it up. ;)

  2. I choose to decorate with pumpkins (whole, uncarved ones) and mums (hearty little plants they are).

    And you can celebrate something in October besides Halloween - the day of my birth ;)

    I'm totally with you about the gruesome. Seriously people, severed hands?

  3. Oh, and don't get me started on the womens' "costumes" that are available... skanky nurse, slutty lion, pirate wench. Um. No thank you.