Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the crisp air. The need for scarfs and warm fuzzy sweaters. How the leaves change to a variety of warm colors on the trees before they cascade down to the ground and decorate the land in a blanket of red, yellow and gold all around them. Simply gorgeous. I love all the smells and aromas lingering in the air, from the smoky fireplace to the freshly baked pumpkin or apple pies! This season brings out the warmth and homeyness in people and, I think, that is a beautiful thing.
I know that it is November and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I shall share my thoughts there, but let me take a moment to reflect on my all time favorite month of the year. October! October is by far the most glorious month. It is the beginning of so much joy and festiveness for me. October signifies many things. Perhaps I am a little biased of this month for one particular reason but I like to think that it holds more than just that one thing. I am going to get a little sentimental for a moment so please bear with.
My dear sweet and infinitely flawed younger brother Brandon was born in October. In 1999 he left this world to return to where we all come from and grace us with his self in other ways. So every year around this time I choose to honor him and his spirit by celebrating and choosing to acknowledge his birth, not his untimely and tragic departure. He has been gone for 12 years now and I sometimes find myself struggling to remember his laugh or his smile or to even remember certain things we did as children. And when times like that are far too frequent and when I feel they are all I have, fading memories, a childhood friend remembers something he did or said and shares that precious moment with me. I feel blessed that he touched their lives in such a way! And even more blessed that they chose to share it with me when I needed it most. Perhaps Brandon knows when I need it and finds a way to bring that person around at the right time and right place or maybe it is just coincidence. Either way, it is beautiful.
Every year on his birthday I go to the cemetery with flowers and a birthday balloon and give an update on my life, more for myself than for him of course, but it makes me feel better so I just go with it. I wish you could have known Brandon. He was a high spirited individual with a great sense humor and a gigantic heart. His capacity for love and his ability to show you just much he loved you was... well it just was! He had a way of burrowing into your heart and making it easy to love him. "Hey big sis, I love you", warms me every time I think about him saying those words and the huge hug that followed it. I miss that most of course aside from his smile. But I know he is with me every day, locked safe in side my heart. And so one main reasons I love October is because I choose to honor him and his life, his light, his love and his joy every day of that month making it my favorite because it was when he graced this world with his presence.
I know that because it is his birth month is one of the most significant reasons I gave as to why I love October but those ARE NOT the only reasons! Um, HALLOWEEN! DUH. Yep, Halloween is another fabulous reason I love this month. The decorations, the candy, and all the fabulous trick-or-treat'er costumes. Kids are so adorable this time of the year! Their excitement and zest for dressing up and getting that coveted candy is so cute. I also think the children are an excuse for some parents who secretly love being a kid all over again and can dress up and trick-or-treat with out being harassed too much for it, is pretty entertaining too! I love all the great theme movies for this time of year. Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler is a great one. Also Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin a classic cartoon that gets me prepped for the coming holiday season.
But one of the MAIN reasons why I also love October, as I stated earlier, is the weather. The fall trees. The crisp air. The smells. The home and hearth of the month in and of itself is something I find so comforting. There are so many things that can help create that feeling. I shall give my top two.
First, baking is one thing that makes this month so special for me. All the yummy food that goes along with the fall and winter season. Oh my, so many favorites. Right now my new found obsession is Cake bites. Yeah baby. So simple and fairly quick to make. I am on a mission to try all the holiday fall tasty ones I can muster. Tomorrow is pumpkin cheesecake. So far the fan favorites are Apple pie and Caramel apple. I share all I can and use family and co-workers as taste testers! They love it and who knew bringing in yummy goodness would create so many happy faces! I did! *inner chuckle* Second, is Soups and Stews. These have come to be my other new found obsession. I made the most amazing Chicken Sausage and Lentil Stew the other day. Holy cow was is delicious. I also made a Roasted Beef and Barley Stew that was so unbelievably easy and tasty too. So now I am on a quest to come up with some of the most fabulous, quick and easy soup recipes I can muster. I shall be sure to post a few of my successes as I can.
November is a great month as well. It brings a time of ultimate reflection and of course, thanks. It also is a time for gathering and family. This time of year is a fundamental need for us all, I believe. Each of us needs to remember the year and years past. To be grateful for where we are and all we have been through. To appreciate our lives and what grace we have been given. Each road taken has brought me to where I am now. Some roads have been extremely rough and painful, but that road has brought me here to this moment. And even though I may have hurt along the way I have learned so much from the path taken and yes even the path not taken. I am a wiser and stronger individual today compared to yesterday and that in my mind is a gift. A gift of wisdom and experience I can share with others who care to listen and perhaps even heed some of it for their own journey.
I have learned to be grateful for the stumbles and the falls. Those have taught me so much more than many of my successes. I see what is important and what is not. Who is uplifting to my life and who I am better off without. To learn to accept faults and mistakes in others as well as myself. To remind myself that judgement is toxic and not nearly as beneficial as seeing a person or situation for what it is. That we all live in glass houses and throwing stones can often ricochet back upon us and generally with good reason. And that most of the time those judgments are merely a projection of what I am unhappy with in myself, not necessarily who or what I am criticizing about. It is all about Fall Reflections and what those reflections hold and have to teach me about the year and what the following new year shall potentially behold!
Yes November is a grand time. Ultimately, for perhaps us all, it is about the fourth Thursday of the month, the day to be most grateful for, Thanksgiving Day! A day to celebrate with our loved ones and friends. To eat til we pop on the most decadent and delicious of dishes! To gather around a common area and celebrate the love we have for each other and to bicker and banter and laugh about anything and everything one can think of. To cook and cook and cook some more. And then on the day after, for those who love to shop, BLACK FRIDAY! A day to get the most awesome deals imaginable for those gifts most desired to be received on Christmas morning. The day to begin or even to finish off the holiday wish lists for the last glorious month of the year, December!
I won't go into what December signifies for me because in my mind December is the beginning of Winter. And Winter is a whole other fun-fantastical topic to delve into! And this post is all about Fall Reflections!
I shall give one last reflection before I finish. There may not be a tomorrow, so even if life is giving me the most challenging moment ever, stop and be grateful for even the smallest of things. Sight to enjoy beauty, sound to hear a bird sing, voice to say anything at all, hands to touch and feel and do, arms to hold and comfort, legs to carry me to anywhere I need to go, a smile to brighten anyone's day; those are just a few I chose to write here, there are many more of course. I am alive and living, so I must take a moment to be grateful of that and then go share that gratitude with someone else. For tomorrow is tomorrow and today is today and as the saying goes. Today is a gift other wise they wouldn't call it the present, so honor that gift and live the best life I possibly can and share that awareness with those I treasure most!
My Fall Reflections are those.
You would be 5 today
2 years ago