Autumn has arrived, heralded by a brilliant Harvest Moon. That fat orange orb sometimes appears in late September, usually in early October, and we see it again in November as we offer up thanks for our many blessings. October is my favorite of all the Fall months, the mellowest of months when our busy lives slow down after an active summer. We welcome an opportunity to rest and gather ourselves together for the holidays and the demanding winter to come.
The Harvest Moon reminds us of October fun; hayrides, corn mazes and heaps of leaves raked up, just to be jumped into. And do you remember bonfires, what fun they were, and how they always filled the air with such great smells? The Harvest Moon inspired one of the good old songs too, a standard at every Sing-a-long since. “Shine On, Shine On”
Our landscape rapidly turns from rich greens to glowing yellows, oranges, reds and gentle brown. The chrysanthemums wear their October colors. As the days shorten, the farmers reap the last of their harvest, and the fields, lawns and bulbs rest until Spring. The kiddies are happy to be back in school, at least most of them are, and we adults can grab a little extra snooze in the mornings and enjoy the cozy evenings with popcorn in front of the fireplaces.
Everything smells and tastes like pumpkin, spice , and every variety of apples, fresh fragrant apples that crackle when you bite into them . We’re ready for hearty soups, stews and chili. Iced tea has given way to freshly pressed cider and hot chocolate. Fall squashes appear on our tables, along with other seasonal favorites.
The BBQ tools and camping gear, the air conditioner, the pool and all the summer toys have been stored and the lawn mower is parked next to the snow blower, each waiting for it’s season. The skis and skates haven’t been brought out yet and the sleds still hang on the garage wall. Sunburns have long since peeled and faded, sandals have been traded for shoes and boots, and swimsuits for sweaters.
The vacationing relatives have all returned home, not to be seen again until the holidays when they’ll descend again like locusts , ready for another round of “just dropping by” for weeks at a time.
And on the very last day of October ,this mellow month has one final gift for us … Hallowe’en … that rowdy, semi-spooky celebration beloved by children and the young at heart. We love the costumes, the garish decorations and the cries of “Trick or Treat” echoing throughout he neighborhood as darkness settles.
Hallowe’en is believed to be based on the ancient pagan holiday of SAMFHAIN, the Celtic New Year. This was a harvest festival dating from the 700s A.D. , rife with superstitions meant to ward off ghosts and welcome the darkness of the coming season
But right now it’s party time, launching us into the busy weeks ahead. Let’s grab our masks and go Trick-or-Treating!