I'm an English major and the only thing I know about Anne of Green Gables is the often quoted sentiment L.M. Montgomery made about this month. She wrote, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." I must think this myself at least once a day for the 31 of October. It's such a crisp, colorful, cozy month. Yesterday I felt lucky to be alive and lucky to be alive right here as I drove along country roads bursting with autumnal glory. I didn't care that I kept making wrong turns in route to the orchard because everywhere I looked I was stunned by the scenery. It didn't matter that the pop-up storm made picking apples unappealing because peck upon peck were for sale at the farm stand. I bought a peck of Honey-crisp and a peck of Cortlands. They'll last a few weeks until Lily and I return to pick enough apples (Galas and others) to last us much of the winter. I'm telling you, once you've tasted an apple plucked in the sun straight from the tree, it's impossible to enjoy the too many months old fruit you find in the grocery store.
On the way to the farmer's market, I opened all the windows and let the dewy air surprise my skin. The sun came out somewhere along the way and shone down on the geese making them silhouettes in the sky. I saw a hawk resting on a weather-worn scarecrow in a patch gluttonous with fat orange pumpkins. I made a mental note to start stock piling for jack o' lanterns.
Despite the temptation, I didn't buy any pumpkins at the market. I didn't buy any mums either because my summer flowers are still flowering. I cannot abandon these blooms just because they're getting a little more woody and less looksy. I'm still drawn to the last of last season's tomatoes admittedly not as ruby red or abundant as just weeks ago, but better then they'll be in a couple weeks when I have no choice, but to buy them from the grocery store. I bought two baskets of beans that still taste like summer. Amen. I've been so spoiled by the fresh, locally grown produce this summer. I shopped this market every week religiously. I've gotten to know some of the farmers. I don't mean to suggest that we're on a first name basis, but there is a familiarity and also an awareness of who has the best crops. Yesterday I was seduced by the fresh Brussels sprouts and squash in all shapes, sizes and colors, but I only bought a single spaghetti squash. I know the source of my resistance to stock up. I could hear myself say...next week again and again. I'm remiss to embrace my favorite month because I'm in denial that it's here and passing.
It's clear I'm all about the crescendo, the build up. I'm happiest when I'm looking forward...when my favorite things are out there in my purview, yet to come. It's at this time of anticipation and hope and promise that everything and anything is still possible. There's a danger in riding the upsurge too long though. The risk is in living for the moment not in the moment. When I'm stuck being hypothetical, I'm not being existential. I must confess that there have been times in my life that I've enjoyed the before more than the during. Many times, but I'm working on it.
For now I'm counting my blessings that I'm fully awake to the rest of the month ahead, and it's only October 6th.