The In-Between Month.

A fiery, fallen leaf. © Allison O.

Autumn colors.
© Allison O.

I love October.

A rainy windowpane; a crisp, sunny morning; the crunch of an apple; the smile of a jack-‘o-lantern; the shuffle-shuffle of leaves.

It’s a month full of simple pleasures, of oft-repeated traditions.

Inside, October means getting out slippers, bathrobes, blankets and furry socks. Turning up the heat, closing the door, and snuggling down, your hands cupping a steaming mug of tea.

With October come hearty soups and stews, squat little pumpkins, hunched on people’s doorsteps, and oozing apple pies. But above all, October means the smell of pumpkin bread, wafting in warm waves from the kitchen, as my mother pulls out the fresh loaves.

Weather-wise, October has a few tricks up its sleeve. It starts out sunny and warm, leading us to believe it’s still summer — something we are only too ready to fall for. However, under its cloak hides winter, ready to stretch out its icy fingers.

Though we may be deceived by the warm spell, the trees know better. Already, their leaves are falling, gathering in mulchy piles on the ground.

Every morning when I pay for the tram to glide me along the avenue, I am also buying a front-row ticket to the park, in full dress rehearsal : robes of purple, yellow, orange, ochre and red, a glorious blaze of colors.

In the nearby woods, the earth is covered in blankets of leaves. Beechnuts crunch underfoot. Now and then, a hurried chipmunk scurries about in the underbrush, an acorn firmly clasped in its mouth.

Everywhere, nature is readying for the winter ahead.

Slowly but surely, the humans are too. Already, there’s a feel of Christmas in the air, so thick you can almost taste it. Visions of fir trees and turkey creep into people’s minds, as stores put up early decorations.

I find October’s duality wonderful. October signals the end of summer and the beginning of the holiday-season. It is a month of beautiful colors, of edible traditions, a month of warmness and togetherness, of tea and of magic.

It’s a crisp apple.  It’s a patchwork quilt.

It’s a piece of pumpkin bread.

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