To Own October

Tell me something beautiful about October. This is my second October without my daughter. Marika loved this month. To her, it meant homecoming and soccer. It was the time to carve pumpkins and pick apples. In October, we bought new jeans and winter jackets. And she planned and partied and dressed up for Halloween, even at age twenty.

Never warming to October before, the past two years I tried to establish new traditions to enliven this time of the year. Like going to Monica’s Pies in Naples, NY, for grape pies. And planting solar-powered garden torches in the driveway to lighten the dark nights. I drink hot chocolate in the chilly mornings, light candles over dinner and plan winter escapes.

During her last October, Marika wrote this poem to the young man she loved. It’s a sad poem. And for me, this is just a sad month. All the grape pies, cocoa and candles can only brighten small moments of it. But that is okay. I can allow myself to acknowledge sorrowful times. I will embrace both the beauty and the sadness of October.

Goodbye October
Marika Warden, 2010

There’s a rustle in the bushes
Not a cloud up in the sky.
I’m just watching trees change colors
And pretending they won’t die.
So I’ll take as many photos
As these canisters can hold
‘Cause I feel like I’ve been dying,
I’m not even growing old.

Turning pages through my story
Running smoothly ‘round the bend
I’ve outwitted every obstacle,
But every story ends.
Now I’m sitting on the terrace
Looking up at eyes of blue
And nothing really matters,
Not while I am here with you.

Goodbye October.
Goodbye to pastures lush and green
‘Til the springtime winds of April
Blow away this winter dream.
Goodbye October.
Goodbye my wide-eyed rambling man.
Tell your stories to the wind
And I’ll be with you once again.

 Goodbye October.
In a year you’ll reappear
But forgive me if my story ends
And I’m no longer here.
Goodbye October.
Let these memories stay true
And one day across the sea
I hope that I can be with you.

 What about October should I look for? What fading memories do you love? What does October mean to you?

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