Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a grand tomorrow

If I ever have a family of my own, tonight will be a great holiday. A night when everyone takes off work the next day and spends the early hours of the morning in front of a bonfire in the shadows of yellowing corn stalks. We'll have sheepdogs curled at our feet and hear the distant cries of fattening lambs in the fields. It'll be a night for dancing and laughing and stories and songs. Fiddles and guitars and enough food to shame Thanksgiving. A night to forget about everything save for what really matters, which is to say what keeps us alive: food, animals, friends, good dogs and great love.

It's the Eve of October: the greatest month of the year. Tomorrow we'll wake up and everything is different. Trust me on this people, I would never lie about such a holy thing. You'll wake up and feel the difference. If you can't feel it, the crows will show you. And if you can't listen to crows, then by god, you'll read about it here.

October is when nostalgia and hope grab hands and jump off cliffs together. It's a month of harvest and celebration, of history and agriculture and a hundred religions taking time to pause and pray and reflect. It's a time for memories and love, but also a darker time of faster nights and quicker shadows. Everyone has their own opinion of this month, but here at Cold Antler, this is it. This is why I kiss the ground I landed in Vermont. Around here we're jaw-punched with such relentless beauty it makes us pull over our cars at 7:48 AM on the way to the office just because a fiery maple deflated our lungs.

I can't wait for tomorrow, and for the next 31 days right up to Halloween. This is my month, our month. Grab your mugs of cider and toast the night with me friends. Tomorrow is October, and October is when everything happens.


Blogger Becky said...

I couldn't agree more! I've always said I would be most happy if it could be forever October. Here in Michigan it's just starting to get beautiful and we have a frost warning tonight. I adore it and can't wait to get up tomorrow morning to go out and feed the horses in the crispy air. Heaven!

September 30, 2009 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

A toast to October! ::clink!::

September 30, 2009 at 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never thought about October in a such a way ... until now.
beautiful post

September 30, 2009 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger ammamcp said...

Happy October Eve! Also my favorite holiday!

September 30, 2009 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I love the smell. You can smell October. How wonderfully perfect to wake up to a chilly morning and decide which afghan to curl up in for the evening. I'm with you - lets celebrate the best of the four seasons.

September 30, 2009 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well, in So Cal it's a bit different but we are pleased as pie to be going to Missouri, Colorado and Utah for 2 weeks of it. We should see some awesome colors...and p.s. sorry for the non-commenting until now, GS honor..won't happen again :)

Happy October!!

September 30, 2009 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger mySavioReigns said...

Ya'll are so lucky. It's going to be like 89 tomorrow here :(

September 30, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A toast to October - to the crows, to the crisp nights, to the changing leaves, to storytelling, to roaring fires, to fiddles :).

I have already had my fill of hot spiced apple cider and pumpkin ice cream. I love this time of year. Samhain is around the corner.

Sorry...I guess I have had too much sugar. Good thing I have tomorrow off!

September 30, 2009 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Harvest Home said...

Weather here in Middle TN is wonderful... high 60's to low 70's down in the low 40's at night all week..
Hail to Oct! ::raising my horn of cider::

September 30, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said! I think its great you posted this today. There was something different about today. The clouds were an AMAZING purple and I smelled the leaves in the air for the first time this year. I love that smell so much. Not the Yankee Candle version of it, but the real thing. Its amazing. I made a mental note about it as I sniffed the air.

I have always viewed October as you do. October of last year I got married. Hubby didnt care when it happened really, but I insisted on October. We always do an amazing Harvest/Halloween party too. All of our closest friends and their children. My kids love it. We light up the trails in the woods. I make a TON of food and the fires start roaring in our back yard. Although it sounds a bit ass-backwards, we even light a few cakes of home made fire works to round out the night. Yeah, we do a big show for the Fourth of July, this is our big "to-do". We have to scale it down this year due to having less $$ this year, but thats fine. We turned it into a pot luck rather than a "hosted" event. I cant wait.

I am happy to see you and so many other readers here love this month as much as my family does. :)

September 30, 2009 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Amen sister!

October 1, 2009 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

You said it!

October 1, 2009 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I love-love-love your post. I think you just created a new holiday!

October 1, 2009 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I LOVE October! It's autumn in all its glory. Great post Jenna.

October 1, 2009 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

Ohhhh I am so ready to rake those leaves and have that bonfire outside! October is a magical month. A toast to October!

October 1, 2009 at 2:13 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

October is the best month ever. (Of course, my birthday is in October, so I am a bit biased.)

October 1, 2009 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger svelteSTUFF said...

Oh...HAPPY, HAPPY DAY(s)!!!!!!!!!!

October 1, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

OOooooo that was a beautiful post. I just wish I could experience a New England fall.

October 1, 2009 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jenna, Wonderful post!!! It evokes thoughts of rituals, traditions, treasuring and living with the seasons and loving the gifts of nature in each of them. The glow and warmth of a wood fire, swirling leaves, crisp air...a celebration of the earth, of the harvest. All so primal, so pagan. Namaste, Chris

October 1, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed! The leaves are turning (and falling!) here, where I've lived most all of my life, and it is breathtaking every single time. Happy October :-)

October 1, 2009 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

I drove over to the tomato/pepper lady's farm after work yesterday to pick up a couple of things for my salsa and I LOVE to drive that stretch now, with the grapes ripe. Just roll down the window and inhale. I told someone that a couple of years ago and they were shocked.."you mean you can smell the grapes??" Challenge for the rest of this monts...OPEN YOU CAR/TRUCK WINDOWS AND SMELL THE FALL... too many climate control people who are missing that pleasure.
Happy October!!

October 1, 2009 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jenna, Wonderful post!!! It evokes thoughts of rituals, traditions, treasuring and living with the seasons and loving the gifts of nature in each of them. The glow and warmth of a wood fire, swirling leaves, crisp air...a celebration of the earth, of the harvest. All so primal, so pagan. Namaste, Chris

October 1, 2009 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

October is when nostalgia and hope grab hands and jump off cliffs together.

Great writing Jenna!
I have always loved this time of year and been very grateful that my birthday is in October.

October 1, 2009 at 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! Amazingly written and so true! I echo your love of this beautiful month! Fitting that it has been rainy and humid here and then today on the 1st of October crisp and clear with sunny blue skies!

October 1, 2009 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Here in Logan, UT October eve's gift was SNOW! Our mountains are still dusted in white this morning and the air is as crisp as apple cider. Woohoo! October is here!

October 1, 2009 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

October is the best month for weather here in north Texas, and we're starting it out with...rain. And...warm. It had better shape up fast, since I'd like to make a bonfire for my birthday (10 days from now). :(

October 1, 2009 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Turtle said...

i agree, october is the best month! Happily huby and i ended up getting married in this month as well.... call it a shotgun wedding if you like, lol, but 18 years later still going strong! Warm crisp days, cool chilly nights.... perfect! i just miss the fabulous vt/nh foliage. It took a few years here in WA before i noticed leaves actually changing. Hawaii?? nope! No change, but we did have a huge pumpkin field. enjoy!! *clink*

October 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Katie K said...

that is simply beautiful :) my birthday is Halloween and I'm always looking for ways to better express this amazing time, thanks so much!!

ps- i've been slowly and gladly reading my way through your archives, so glad I found your blog!

October 1, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hi there,
Just finished your was wonderfully entertaining and full of good info.....thanks so much for writing it...I see you moved to Vermont....can't wait to have time to read your archives....I hope you have a family one day, you'll be a great Mom.....

October 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Alison Russell said...

October has always been my favorite month, for all the same reasons! I can now make soup for dinner again, and I can bake bread without everyone in the house melting! I think I will make apple pie tonight, and have mulled cider this weekend!

October 1, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Goodiegang said...

Sorry I have not posted before. I love your blog, book, caflocals. (my signature MichaelaNAndy) Autumn is my fave time too,we married in October also.The high bush cranberry smell we get here in Alaska is definately an aquired taste though!

October 1, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

Yes! Yes! and Yes!

October 1, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Conny said...

Yes, the first scent of the day smelled faintly of woodsmoke. I wanted to follow the autumnal Pied Piper...but I had to go to work.

Here's toasting to the BEST month of the year: October. "Clink"

October 1, 2009 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Lorri said...

Another Halloween baby here :) Autumn is our favorite season. I'm still putting food by down here, but I'm watching leaves change and scenting the wind, waiting and watching and loving the season

October 1, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Wow...what GREAT writing. Unbelievably GOOD ! I enjoyed that so's everything I am thinking .....and longing for...

I am in California..and it's 91 degrees..and I have a fan going..and I'm not happy about it...

I DREAM DREAM DREAM that I am in the beloved VERMONT !

For now, I'll just pretend...and visit you !


October 1, 2009 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Irma said...

Here in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October (next week, actually), which to me feels so much more "right" than your November one. No disrespect to your holiday intended, but I just love that mine comes at the end of the harvest. A thankful time, indeed.

October 1, 2009 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Earth Witch said...

I'm a garden designer, so October is truly both the end of my old year and the start of my new. Most people greet the spring with the exuberance I welcome up to autumn. I look forward to dark, cozy days lit by fire and glittering snow. I hunt library fairs all summer to gather up books that I keep in baskets until it's time for me to curl up with blankets, dogs, hot beverages and my husband and start the season of reading and rest. I'm a not far from Vermont, and I love the Northeast for the it's four season clock. October is just beginning to chime.

October 1, 2009 at 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We read your post out loud...with gusto! For you is the month of my dear daughter birthday...and we feel the same exact way about October! I'm copying your post out and hanging it on the cabinet. One fine thing to do each day of the fine thing. Thanks Jenna!

October 1, 2009 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger TofuTheBunnyBoy said...

October rocks... you're right, it is different. I don't need no stinkin' crows to tell me so!!! Fall is by far my favorite season. The geese passing overhead, their calls echoing through the trees, the satisfying crunch of leaves beneath your boots. Yesterday, I was sitting at the bus stop, the air was mellow and warm and birds sang. Today, the air was crisp and sharp, like an apple plucked from the branches in it's prime. Me and my friends collect acorns and roll them across the street, to see if they can get to the other side in one piece. Autumn scenery is gorgeous, from the sunny skies to the sun-kissed leaves just barely hanging to their perchs on the tips of strong oak branches. I could not agree more with you...

Tofu Bunny says that he loves his new home, but he misses you and his Mommy and Daddy. We let him run around the house, he loves to explore. He gets more gutsy everyday, recently he jumped right up onto our couch, then back down! He's wondering if there are any new "Bean"ie Babies yet?


October 1, 2009 at 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a shame that we totally miss out on the true "colors" of Fall here in California. :(

I've never considered October to be a very special time of year... until I started reading your stuff. I've come to see the light, and so I must say I long to see Fall the way you are seeing it now!

We've finally gotten some cold nights and cooler weather days here in NorCal and it feels Great!! Can't wait to see all the pics of October!

October 2, 2009 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Happy October! I needed to read some joyous words,my soul is balmed,thankyou x

October 2, 2009 at 4:00 AM  
Blogger Butts said...

October is when it all happens here in Brown Co. IN too. My favorite month as well. The blaze orange pumpkins, smell of the leaves. The fire.....ahhhh.

October 2, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, the way you wrote about this time of year has stirred up so many readers. I am sure you try and keep up with the posted comments, but did you see that your words have allowed others who never really thought about October to rethinkg it and enjoy it?!

I am a visual person, I cant write for shit....I dont even know what is "good" or "bad" when it comes to what I read. All I have to go on is if I like what I read....or not. I read your book, I enjoyed it alot. For me it was mostly entertainment enjoyment...I already do alot of things you mention. Dont get me wrong, I learned also. My hubby was annoyed with me while I was reading your book! After I put the kiddies in bed and chilled with hubby for a bit I would start reading your book, nudging hubby and reading parts of it to him that I found comical or if there was some piece of information I was not aware of.

I just want you to know that us readers really enjoy your postings.(sorry to speak for others, but its seems obvious that people are enjoying) It really blows me away that there are so many people who love the natural world and share in the feelings that this time of year stirs up inside them.

Please always keep up the good work. Your words almost always hit home with me. Thanks again, Jenn

October 2, 2009 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

What a wonderful idea. October is my favorite month. I like the idea of an October celebration better than the dreaded Christmas holiday that is coming up.

October 2, 2009 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger r said...

I completely agree! I love the brisk air here in the Northeast in October. I love the leaves and the pumpkins. I'm a middle school teacher, and every year on October 1rst I bring in a big pumpkin for my classroom. The kids vote on naming it and it's an honorary member of the classroom for the month! At the end of the month, I use the pumpkin to teach personification. (I teach English.) Ah, pumpkins, red leaves and apple cider. October IS PERFECT. Thank you, Jenna, for the beautiful post reminding us of that!

October 3, 2009 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Hear, hear!
Happy October, Jenna!

October 5, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger julochka said...

what a lovely way to think of october. i'm going to try to do that tomorrow. even if it's pissing down rain and me without an umbrella...

October 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger tigress said...

i live for october! i wouldn't be anywhere else in the world this month then at my house in the berkshires of MA - unless i take a drive an hour north to your lovely state of vermont for the day! ;)

October 11, 2009 at 7:09 AM  

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