Kicking leaves and watching them float back down, the last nostalgic warmth of my childhood autumn. Dancing flames color me in orange corduroy, all the while herbaceous scents of sage and pumpkin cools my mind and warms my soul. October shows her admiration of nature’s true beauty by leading symphonies, all the while humming alleluias for all to hear. You are a precious pause at the perfect time, October. Bowing on its axis, the earth holds a grand reception for you, humbled in awe, as nature confidently changes into its fall attire. The trees drop their crimson-carmine and golden-amber leaves like fine confetti, just as a flower girl drops her scarlet rose petals. In her evenings, the sun dapples through the trees, expressing my innermost emotions oh so beautifully. October’s nebulously salient skies are certainly what formed poets from the dust. As the evenings change so romantically with all poetry swaying in our midst, October turns the pages with passion and grace, reminding us in a whisper, life is a gift.
Why do I write this love letter to you? My mother was born on the 29th of October. My father was born on the same day in May. Two months vexing each other for favor. I can certainly see why, two of God’s grandest creations, born to each. I have an unbreakable and unending love for you both. Kicking leaves and watching them float back down, the first nostalgic warmth of my childhood autumn. Remembering how you turned chores into chances. Raking the leaves into piles of laughter. Adventures all around. Cinnamon and coco cruising through the clouds, not a trouble nor a care. Long trips to pick the perfect pumpkin and most excellent costume. All in the nick of time, for all soul’s night. We wore our costumes for weeks on end, becoming superheroes, witches, and friends. I do appreciate all seasons for what they host. I just happen to love October the most. It prepares our way to the greatest reason for all seasons. Let’s stop for a moment to be gracious and thankful. My childhood memories were all exceptional, but the love my parents provided was always and more. For that alone, I am eternally grateful. Not everyone had the best childhood; with that truth, I am empathetic. Not everyone loves October, November, or December. We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are. This is not my quote. I heard it once, and it made me stop to ponder.
As I reflect and share this with you, I want you to know that I haven’t always been gracious. I am certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. My two favorite times of the year are October and Lent; both slowly step me to prepare for new seasons, a new way of seeing myself, and a renewed hope. Most of us change with the seasons. Our own spring reveals to us that new perspectives can come at any time of the year. Kicking leaves and watching them float back down, the most nostalgic warmth of my childhood autumn. I speak about time and now the lineage of love because the leaves on the highest branch have slowly begun to wither. I’ve climbed my generational tree for fifty-seven years. I have loved ones above, beside, and below me. My roots are planted deep in the sacred connection of my grandparent’s faith. I laid down an interesting read earlier. I placed it right beside my freshly brewed coffee. It reads, “Behavior can be affected by events in previous generations which have been passed on through a form of genetic memories.” I am in wonder and awe of the mighty God we serve. For some, I pray this is a story for reconnection; for others, a chance to forgive and be forgiven.
Perhaps it’s the withering of time or the memory fading, but I do miss family and the time granted. I am sorry for any pain I may have caused you. In this life, I have done some things for the right reasons, some because I loved you above all things, and others because I feared the fires from hell. I have done some things without thinking about you or others. I am most sorry for the times it was not for the second reason that I mentioned. I carry with me the unconditional love of my mother, the smile of Patsy, which brought such eternal joy, and the generosity of my father, my truest treasures. From my oldest brother to the youngest, and yes, my sister too, we didn’t always do it perfectly, nor did the generations before us, but we still have time to end on that high note. Reflecting on kicking leaves and watching them float back down has brought me as many emotions as October brings its colors so vividly. In the past, I felt as though I was made up of a collection of other people’s definitions, experiences, and imaginations of me. The more I agreed with these semantics, the more I belonged to them. Frightening, isn’t it, to belong to such a lonely place? A place we never fit in, the imagination and expectation of others. To be fair, it is the month for fear.
I have stepped out of others’ negative perceptions, conclusions, and suggestions of me long ago. I invite you to do the same. I can’t believe we bought into the idea of stolen chances. I believe I am created and renewed by God. My story is written and edited by me and my choices. There are chapters I wish could be erased, decisions made in haste. There are paragraphs I want to keep on repeat. Not to worry, my book isn’t complete. There are more characters to come and more climbing to do. I have often been told I am quite the character. While some of us root for the villain, others root for the heroes. Some of you still do not know there is a difference. Some people vote for change, and some want things the same. It’s all perception. What lens are you looking through?
Mother Theresa reminds us that the more time we spend judging others, the less time we have to love them. Words may reshape the way we view things, and it has been said that language reshapes the cornea. I pray we can see eye to eye, you and I, even if that means unconditionally respecting each other. October is all about creating the narrative. Upsetting the balance is the sound of all silent screams. Was it a nightmare, or your dreams unseen? Tucked away in the corners of our mind, slowly approach nostalgia, for he can be both pleasure and pain. Remember to let go and heal from those who manipulate behind the scenes, and if you can’t, maybe you are the one standing behind the curtain, pulling the strings. As I wrap this short story up, know that October is my favorite color. Let’s meet again between the yellow, orange, and crimson. The beginning.
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