The First Day of October

By Beck

Autumn was at its peak last weekend, and we drove down a country road surrounded by 100 year old farmsteads and red orange yellow leaves on trees and Mennonite boys in straw hats chasing sheep down hills turning gold with the cold fall sweeping in and taking all of the leaves away. The forests were full of deer jumping white tailed over fences and the skies were full of geese, flying noisily away from here. 

And I was enchanted, once again, by autumn. Every year, I swear I will be immune to its passing charms and every year the gold and the red and the hot mulled cider and the flying geese work their magic and every year I find myself startled at the end of October by the running children transformed by their witch costumes, by the bare trees, by the smell of snow in the air.

Thirty-one days.

We don’t get to pick much of what happens to us in this life. We don’t get to stop time at some happy spot, get to stop our children from growing out of their peach-skinned sweet-voiced perfection, get to keep our loved ones young and hearty and well and here. If wishes were horses, right?

But instead of horses: little boys running barefoot through fields of waist-high golden grass, lithe deer leaping over fences, geese flying away, time passing and taking everything and leaving only beauty and red and orange and yellow splendour that will not last. It is enough, I think, enough to set aside my human sadness and to be instead a wild goose flying away, the world turning around and around.

12 Responses to The First Day of October
  1. Mary-LUE
    October 1, 2009 | 4:11 pm

    This is very beautiful and true.

  2. Rachel in CA
    October 1, 2009 | 4:50 pm

    The problem with your posts is that I am fully unable to come up with the right words to comment on them. This leaves me feeling echoey, empty, achy inside, but in a beautiful way. And that’s as close as I can get, but it’s not close enough. Your writing is a gift. I don’t mean that in a generic high-school-English-teacher-inspiring-you kind of way; I mean, specifically, that your solidification of your beautiful thoughts into perfectly apt words is a gift to me and to everyone else who reads what you write. Thank you for giving this to us. (That’s… *closer*.)

  3. deb
    October 1, 2009 | 5:16 pm

    Brilliant. Poetic. and Brilliant.

  4. Omaha Mama
    October 1, 2009 | 5:53 pm

    This made me cry…
    Today I found out that a dear great uncle passed away last night. His funeral is Saturday. My birthday. He wanted nothing more than this in the past year or so, so we should celebrate. But instead, selfishly, it’s melancholy. This post touched me.

  5. Nicole
    October 1, 2009 | 5:57 pm

    Oh, that is so lovely.

  6. kyslp
    October 1, 2009 | 6:12 pm

    Moving, lovely, beautiful piece.

  7. gretchen from lifenut
    October 1, 2009 | 7:47 pm

    The beauty! I was just thinking this morning how October’s beginning and ending are wildly different.

    It’s a busy 31 days. The world falls apart faster than it blooms and greens.

  8. Minnesotamom
    October 2, 2009 | 12:00 am

    Ah, Autumn. It is a much lengthier season here in the Twin Cities than where I grew up in northern MN. It comes much more gently, and with more color and warmth. Today, I was pleasantly welcomed home by the furnace burning, and I liked it. I didn’t think I was quite ready to let go of summer yet, but I’m there.

  9. PastormacsAnn
    October 2, 2009 | 12:55 am

    Gosh Beck! This just took my breath away. Wow.

  10. Hannah
    October 2, 2009 | 10:49 am

    Okay Beck, prepare your guest room. Any corner of the house will do. I am longing to return to a place, reminiscent of my childhood, where autumn heralds “passing charms” such as these.

  11. Beverly Gibson
    October 8, 2009 | 10:33 pm

    Some good stuff here – loved it.

  12. προωθηση ιστοσελιδων
    March 26, 2012 | 6:38 pm

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