"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it?"
L.M. Montgomery from "Anne of Green Gables"
Over the last few weeks we've donned everything from shorts, t shirts and flip flops to jeans, sweatshirts, and boots. It's the nature of the month: bright warm sunshine one day and blustery cold north winds the next. We've watched as, one by one, the fields around us are harvested. The combines, complete with large clouds of dust, make their way up and down every field in the area. Our view, blocked by six foot tall corn fields one day, stretches out for miles the next.
We've picked buckets and buckets of apples. The good ones became applesauce, apple pies, apple crisp, apple muffins, and cinnamon spiced apples. The not so good ones entertained us as we watched the horses next door munch and crunch and snarf on the sweet taste of autumn.
We visited the orchard for our annual race through the corn maze. The guys won but us girls sharpened our map reading skills. We'll get them again one day. We came home with arms laden with jugs of cider and cartons of apple donuts.
And pumpkins. They sit on the porch begging to be carved. In the meantime, the scent of all things pumpkin mixed with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg permeates the house and every coffee shop around.
We've enjoyed countless nights around the campfire, talking with friends or family, roasting marshmallows and assembling warm gooey smore's. There's something mesmerizing about a campfire. Something that draws you in, welcoming you and inviting you to sit and stay awhile. It brings people together and somehow creates a sense of peacefulness. So we do and it always ends up being longer and later than intended. But that's okay because it's October and it only lasts a few short weeks.
And what's October without a hay rack ride down the country roads, bundled up against the cold winds in your face. I've always wondered: does everyone do hay rack rides? Or is it just a Midwest delight?
You guys, we are living our last October filled with cross country. Cross country is such beautiful sport in October. All those colorful trees and colorful uniforms. So much strength, discipline and determination coming together in one mass of runners. The stomping of hundreds of spike clad feet racing through grass and fallen leaves. It makes me want to cry. By the way, see those two boys in the the maroon and white uniforms? The shorter one in front with the dark hair is my son. He makes me proud. He's becoming a man too fast though. That makes me want to cry a little too. But I've learned to never wish for my children to stay young forever because sometimes they do. Sometimes we wake up and realize that our babies never got a chance to grow up. So keep growing my boy. Grow and mature and become a fine man of God.
The ultimate trademark of October is leaves. Leaves that burst, from brilliant green to orange, red, yellow, brown. If you watch close enough, it's a stunningly beautiful transfiguration that takes place right before your eyes. And then, when they begin to fall the world, at least our part of it, smells like fallen leaves and burning and so much goodness.
Last week I watched one day as the last leaves on the Ash tree out back seemed to be clinging and hanging on desperately as the wind whipped and pulled at them. It reminded me of life. Sometimes strong winds batter us and we hang on to life, as we know it, until we can't hang on anymore. Finally, when we let go, we find that God--the same one who creates the winds and the leaves--has something better for our life--something that requires that we first let go.
I love October mornings when warm days and cold nights create a lake effect and we awaken to the majestic image of steam rising up to meet the glorious backdrop of fall.
Then, in the evening, the sunsets wow us with their sheer perfection. Sunsets always make me think of my baby girl, somewhere out there in a place I cannot fathom. But in my own humanistic mind she's there, on the other side of the sunset, waiting for me. Not missing me like I miss her, but waiting just the same.
There's an achiness to October that can't be described. It''s so beautiful as summer and winter begin to intertwine. So beautifu that it sometimes hurts in that place deep inside that can't truly grasp God and all of His power. As the leaves turn and blow and fall, it signifies the beginning of the end of another year.
In summer and winter and October,
God is good, all the time.