Monday, October 29, 2007

Old October

"All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken." -- Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River

On Saturday evening, as I walked around my neighborhood, I was trying to figure out what it was about October that makes me love it so much. Then I remembered this quote. I think it's so true. Something about the cold rain, about the falling leaves, about the brisk air reminds us: We are human. We are limited. Nature is bigger than us, and we can't control her. For all of our springtime curiosity and our summer exploration, we can't face life outdoors for so long. We need autumn to remind us that we're not solitary beings who can do it all and conquer the world. We're pointed back home in "old October."

But it's not that life is over for a season; it changes. The joys of cookouts, sunshine, and morning dew are traded for the welcome warmth of hearth and indoor lighting, of friends gathered close over a mug of warm cider. The point of the day that takes on meaning is when we come home in the evening: from school, from work, the coming together of people that happens in the winter as we leave the cold darkness and enter into the inner-room light.

1 comment:

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I guess I didn't know you had a poetic side, but clearly you do. Reading made me want to light the fire and curl up with a warm blanket, a good book and a cup of hot tea.

It is true, in order to look foward, sometimes we must first stop looking back.