“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. L.M. Montgomery.” Anne of Green Gables
After the exuberance of summer and the frantic pace of school starting, there is something special about the moment of time that is October. It’s as if our previous months of momentum have us cartwheeling over a cliff and October is perfectly poised to catch us before we crash. Cushion our fall and cradle us gently for a few weeks of respite.
Breathe. Pause. Rest. October offers these gifts in a way no other month of the year can. As mentioned above, we are through the summer and start of school season, and yet the holiday madness has not yet struck – even the grocery store aisles agree. The weather is at its peak of comfort, no hunkering down through a winter chill or driving for hours to find the one parking spot that has shade. Sunrise comes at a time that gives a delicious sleeping-in sense—not the winter-late that makes you feel like hibernating or the summer-early that brings dawn with a cringe. There is Time. A beautiful multi-week stretch of Time. October Time.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” John Lubbock, The Use Of Life
This October Time is special because it is so needed. Not a ‘waste of time’ as the quote says, but a true and vital need. It is easy today to find ourselves in a life where the lists only lengthen and our burdens multiply. Left to our own devices, we are clenched by commitments and strangled by schedules. This certainly is the case with me anyway. So when October steps up and says “Wait. Please, let me hold you here a moment.” I do. And after the first shock of stillness passes, I gratefully feel my shoulder blades slide down my back, my jaw hinges slack, and my lungs powerfully expand. I am better for this. I think we all become better in this kind of rest.
October doesn’t force us to calm, the nudging however is blessedly clear. Who can deny the call of colors and smells and trinkets of sound that bound into our lives in the tenth month of the year? And it has to be noted that our particular part of the world beckons us on in magnificent fashion. I was dazzled on day trip to Silverjack Reservoir recently, and the view from my classroom window at a surrounding field and trees offers ever-growing pockets of golden ombre and russet shine.
Even before all the leaves turn, the October air adds its voice to the invitation for rest. My youngest actually stopped me as we walked out of the library and said, “Wait right here for a moment mom—breathe. Isn’t it amazing!” Out of the mouths of babes… He’s right, it is amazing. Both subtle and over-whelming and requiring a full-stop-deep-to-the-cells-of-your-skin kind of breath to fully appreciate. An honest inhalation of October air has the effect of both lightening my load and making me feel more grounded at the same time. It’s a tonic to cure many ills, and can only be taken in present-moment intentional breaths. October gives us pauses, on purpose.
So when I see the familiar poster reading “My favorite color is October,” I smile and heartily agree. It is also my favorite smell, my favorite wind song, my favorite sunrise; and the sound of sons jumping into crushed golden piles makes October my favorite laughter as well.
Happy October, rest joyfully and well.