The Sassy Sandpiper: Remembrance of Octobers Past
October is a time for remembering.
By M.R. Wilson, Columnist, TB Reporter
October isn’t gold-orange-russet in Florida. We’re year-round green and any seed stuck in the soil—potting, garden, or what accumulates in the tracks of sliding glass doors—and given enough moisture will sprout. If attended to, it will grow and prosper.
I don’t mind the subtle-to-none change in Florida’s autumn color palette as much as I used to, although I feel heart pangs upon seeing someone’s gorgeous photos of the Blue Ridge Mountains or a Vermont forest. But hey—I’m wearing shorts and a sleeveless top while that flaunting photographer bundles to keep the frost off her … pumpkins.
We’re inclined to introspection this time of year, so here’s a glimpse of some Octobers past.
In late October 1956, my family journeyed from western Nebraska to our new home in St. Petersburg. Two years later I started school at Westgate Elementary. Halloween carnivals enchanted me. It was safe to trick-or-treat alone (but an elder always came with us) and no one searched anxiously through our sweet loot on the lookout for something horrid tossed into our bags by a deranged adult.
Fast forward to college days in Kansas City during the ’70s. There reside my recollections of vivid October foliage, crisp cold air, the aroma of fireplaces and bonfires, and football games in Columbia. By October of 1975 I knew I was enthralled with science as well as humanities.
During October 1998 I was teaching kindergarteners and Halloween was a huge event. We carved pumpkins and made our very own Gingerbread Man. We paraded up to the big kids’ gymnasium for a costume contest, and reveled in a “fall festival” spread over the entire lower school campus.
Life got tough.
October of 1999 I was beginning chemotherapy. Two years later in 2001, the horror of the Twin Tower attacks on Sept. 11 was yet wrenching. I was doing graduate work at the University of South Florida, and so shaken by computer engineering professor Sami al-Arian’s link to terrorism that I dropped my program.
Leap ahead to the 2016 election season. Last October brought angst and hope, and the diversion of Hallothankmas.
Okay, so you’re not humming Thanks for the Memories, but you should know that October is still my favorite month. Good things are happening this October of 2017: the publication of my friend’s book, Birth of a New Brain, the fattening of baby papayas, the roughhousing of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed cats.
Things change, from the play of light to the slightest cooling and drying, to the inward movement of energies, to folks being a little nicer in anticipation of the holiday season.
October. It is a time of beauty, blessings, comfort, gratitude, fun, mischief, generosity, good will, hope, love, and peace.
M.R. Wilson | Sassy Sandpiper | October | Halloween | Local News | Community News
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