“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys”*

October is leaf-raking and Halloween costume making. It’s packing the whole family into the car and driving out into the country to visit a farm that sells pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn. It’s spending ages helping your children choose the perfect pumpkin, and it’s taking loads of pictures so you won’t forget how much fun you had. Here we are in October 1995. That bundle I’m holding is newborn baby Tim — not yet a month old.

We still buy pumpkins when we can, though I confess that if I’m the only one doing it, I tend to get them at the grocery store. This year I was lucky enough to have the boy in the red sweatshirt accompanying me. Last weekend, on a perfect autumn day, we drove out into the country to one of our favorite farms to buy pumpkins. And he even wore a red sweatshirt!

I can get a little nostalgic during autumn, but that feeling can also be comforting. As Rider Haggard wrote in King Solomon’s Mines:

Yet man dies not whilst the world, at once his mother and his monument, remains. His name is lost, indeed, but the breath he breathed still stirs the pine-tops on the mountains, the sound of the words he spoke yet echoes on through space; the thoughts his brain gave birth to we have inherited to-day; his passions are our cause of life; the joys and sorrows that he knew are our familiar friends–the end from which he fled aghast will surely overtake us also! Truly the universe is full of ghosts, not sheeted churchyard spectres, but the inextinguishable elements of individual life, which having once been, can never die, though they blend and change, and change again for ever.

(They don’t write popular fiction like that anymore, do they?) Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to “smell the pine in your nostrils.”

*Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes