Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October, Here's to You.

October, here's to you.
Here's to the heady aroma of the frost-kissed apples,
the winey smell of ripened grapes,
the wild-as-the-wind smell of hickory nuts
and the nostalgic whiff of that first wood smoke. 

Ken Weber
(Took awhile here in the city, but the leaves are finally starting to change)

What a fantastic month this is! Although I love Spring with its new beginnings, I do have to say that September and October are my favorite months of the year. The extreme heat and humidity are gone and have been replaced by a crisp Autumn chill. Night starts earlier in the day, and have you noticed? Even the moon and stars seem brighter at this time of the year. And we can turn off that noisy air conditioner and crack open the window while we snuggle under our blankets. The leaves will begin changing from green to orange, gold, brown, red, and yellow, and although I am not fond of winter fruits, I do love the sweet smells of apples at the fruit stand for this is the time of the apple harvest.  No, it really  doesn’t get much better than an October day.

So many joyful memories.  Harvesting grapes from grandma's grapevine.  Raking huge piles of leaves and throwing ourselves in them.  The smell of burning leaves in the air. Candied apples. The darkening skies as thousands of birds head for their southern shelter. 

(Beautiful Autumn sky)

October is the tenth month in the Gregorian calendar. Its name is derived from the Latin numeral octo meaning "eight". This is because in the old Roman calendar, October was the eighth month of the year. Its astrological signs are Libra (Balance) and Scorpio (Emotional).  This month is sacred to the Celtic horned god, Cernunnos, Egyptian god Osiris, and Hecate in her aspect as the Crone. 

The flowers for October are the Calendula and the Cosmos. Calendula is associated with the sun and magic. Its element is fire; its gender masculine. There is an  old love spell which instructs the woman to  collect soil that her prospective partner has stepped on and use it to pot  a calendula plant. The health of the plant will indicate the health of the relationship. The Cosmos is a plant that has been used to attract Faeries to a garden. Its name is derived from the Greek word for harmony. So, if  you want good luck, fill your garden with Cosmos. The birthstone of October is the Opal.  The Romans wore opals for centuries as a symbol of hope and purity.

October's child is born of woe, 
and life's vicissitudes must know.
 But lay an Opal on her breast, 
and hope will lull those woes to rest.
Traditional English Proverb

And, of course, the month ends with Halloween or All Hallow's Eve  which just happens to be my favorite holiday. And even though it is not the same holiday I remember as a child,   I certainly  beats out Christmas in my book. 

"In the great silence of my favorite month,
October (the red of maples, the bronze of oaks,
A clear-yellow leaf here and there on birches),
I celebrated the standstill of time.

The vast country of the dead had its beginning everywhere:
At the turn of a tree-lined alley, across park lawns.
But I did not have to enter, I was not called yet.

Motorboats pulled up on the river bank, paths in pine needles.
It was getting dark early, no lights on the other side.

I was going to attend the ball of ghosts and witches.
A delegation would appear there in masks and wigs,
And dance, unrecognized, in the chorus of the living."
Czeslaw Milosz,  
Translated  by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan  


  1. Happy October Hugs, to you Mary. This is indeed a fabulous month!!!

  2. October is truly lovely! :). The colors! The scents! At first i have a difficult time with the earlier darkness, but i adjust pretty quickly. We are getting rain here today, but this month will give us our share of delightful, crisp sunny weather!

    Joyful October to you Mary!


  3. oh, my favorite time of year! I actually like the early darkness, the house lit with lamps and candles on the dinner table. This is hands down the best season. summer goes out in a blaze of glory! Happy October to you!

  4. Happy October!! My favorite month - I wait for it all year long!! May you find joy in each and every day!