I love the month of October in Minnesota, the way it can be utterly raw one day but sunny and warm the next. As I wrote this post yesterday, it was one of those raw days, with high winds and rain. And yet I stood outside beneath our deck, coffee cup in hand, while I listened to the neighborhood crows and watched them swoop through the unsettled sky, land in the neighbor’s ragged spruce tree.
I listened to the wind in the white pines that tower over the south side of our backyard, watched water drops spray outward with each gust. Yellow leaves blew off our birch trees, scattered gold over the garden.
These raw days are my favorites. They make me grateful for the house I live in, the warmth of the kitchen, the softness of a sweater, the steam from freshly-brewed coffee. These days that mark the transition to winter remind me how much I love to cook while wind rattles the windows, how cozy it is to sit near a fireplace, and how staying home suddenly feels like just the thing. I’m almost never sad at this turn of the seasons, at the promise of snow off in the distance, or the lessening of daylight. Rather, I’m happy to scrounge around for whatever offers light of its own: candles, strings of tiny twinkly bulbs, changing leaves that seem to glow at dusk, the faces of people I love gathered around our table.
This October feeling, with Halloween looming, reminds me just how much beauty there can be in the temporary ends of things – the end of the garden, the end of warm days, the end of the year – and how much we can do to light our own way to beginning again.
all photos by KCMickelson 2019