One of my all time favorite seasonal songs is When October Goes as sung by Barry Manilow. It’s been around a while. It speaks to every one of my emotions about the beautiful days of autumn. In the first heady rush of the season there’s great anticipation of leaves turning, cheery fireplaces, blustery afternoons, and kids getting their last bursts of fun in before the onslaught of winter. Baseball ends and football begins. Something about cozying up indoors enchants.
The central theme of the song is that October is a place we want to stay. Linger there among the bright leaves that float lazily down to make a lush gold and red carpet at our feet. We take giddy delight in the abundance of bright orange pumpkins, rosy apples, corn stalks, and cinnamon sticks swirling in mugs of warm cider. It reminds us of the blessings of the previous season’s toil. I love it – never want to leave it. I could live quite happily in October.
Today, though, as I ran through a light rain on my way to the mailbox, some other emotion reared its head. The one that was wanting to pull me on towards another season; one I also love, but quite differently. Was it the sodden leaves, several trees worth, all clustered on the edges of the driveway, their brightness dimming as the days roll on? Was it the whisper of winter in the breeze that kissed my neck? Or maybe the shiny foil Christmas wrap I ordered from my granddaugher’s fund raising project a few days ago? Probably a little of each.
I can’t say I don’t know it’s coming. October roars in every year full of robust promise. A whole month of all the sights, sounds and experiences I look forward to as summer wanes. I never seem to be able to look at it all hard enough; to hold it in my heart, a prisoner.
But then I see a blurry figure poised at the end of October’s road, beckoning. A pilgrim, hat in hand, head bowed in thanks, a bountiful table set behind him. Then another harbinger of change came quickly to mind, a Christmas song playing in a store when I shopped with a friend last week. Deep down, I know what’s ahead but, like the last line of the song . . . it doesn’t matter much how old I grow, I hate to see October go. Yet I know she will. I feel her gentle nudge towards that more brutal season, winter, and I sigh.
Goodbye October, I’ll miss you.
Image: Vlado Free Digital Photos