International Coffee Day, Chocolate Week, Halloween, my mum’s birthday, the extra hour in bed: some of the reasons I love October. But here’s my confession; I don’t like ‘spiced’ things – lattes or biscuits, I can’t stand pumpkins (except carving them), I’m no fan of trick or treating (American import) and I don’t like dark afternoons. I do like getting cosy though and starting the move towards winter hibernation and everything hygge. To the Anglo-Saxons this time of year was known as ‘Winter Fylleth’ because at the full moon winter was supposed to begin.
If September marked a (school) new year, then October is all about the gentle shift towards autumn. The beginning of the month can still be warm, there are still green leaves on the trees, but even a light breeze sends those leaves already yellowed down in showers. Sometimes autumn can get overlooked in the rush to Christmas, but it should be celebrated – it’s a time to gather in the last of the harvest; the windfall apples; the hips and haws; ripening quince; the dried peas and beans as next years seed; the parsnips and squashes. Not forgetting those beautiful misty mornings when it seems like smoke rises from the earth, the spider webs catch those pearls of dew out of thin air, the tints of gold, red, russet and orange set the treetops blazing, and “The acorns near the old crows nest /Fall pattering down the tree.”
I couldn’t live in a country without seasons. It’s amazing to think that it’s all thanks to a massive collision between us and an Mars-sized object about 4.5 billion years ago, which not only knocked a chunk off us which became the moon, but also tilted the Earth sideways a bit. Without that tilt we wouldn’t have the seasons. Just goes to show it’s good to be slightly wonky sometimes.