This has been the most beautiful, lovely October I have experienced in recent memory — in weather, color, and activity. We have visited pumpkin patches and apple orchards, have cooked out, gone trick-or-treating, and enjoyed our fireplace. We have yet to make soup but that will be happening this week. We have oo’d and ahh’d over the gorgeous colors and dressed cozily in our hoodies and sweaters for walks and playtime. I have burned through comforting candle after comforting candle, their flames flickering along sweetly with the twinkle lights draped over the bookshelves in our small library. Yes, it’s been a lovely October. So I thought it fitting to share some things, namely…
Here is what I have cherished this October.
- Friday Nights — I made a firm resolve this school year that no work will be done on Friday nights. Not by anyone in the house, yes, but especially not by me. After basic cleaning is done upon getting home, then work stops for the night. No tidying, no homework, no grading, no studying, no work emails/texts, nothing. Everything can wait until Saturday or Sunday. Fridays are for rest — for snacks and movies, shows, games, or books. Friday nights are sacrosanct. Friday nights are mine. Holding this boundary has done me a world of good thus far and will continue to do me good, I am convinced.
- Wearing Knits and Boots – I love to dress cozily. I love my sweaters, knit ponchos, arm warmers, socks, hats, and scarves/shawls. This has been a perfect autumn for all of my cozy clothes and my favorite pairs of over-the-knee boots with even taller socks, which has made some sweet happiness for my soul.
- Seeing My Heart and Soul in a Book – Becky Chambers‘s novella A Psalm for the Wild-Built was recommended to me by a dear one and touched my heart in so many different spots that there were many times that I wasn’t convinced that I was not indeed Sibling Dex. There were frequent occurrences of me having to put the book down to have a good cry because I’d been shown my own heart so starkly yet again upon its pages. Obviously, I enthusiastically pass on my friend’s recommendation. A Psalm and its sequel A Prayer for the Crown-Shy are sweet, patient honest little books, like the calmest of companions just waiting for you. They will sit beside you until you are ready to read them again, no pressure whatsoever. I have heard God’s gentle voice in these pages, reminding me that the space I am in right now is okay. I do not need to break myself apart to change it. It is okay to take things slowly, okay to feel the way I feel, okay to look ahead, but equally okay not to rush ahead. He is there with me, the God of small comforts and rest just as He is the God who moves mountains, brings us through troubles, and changes lives.
- Open Windows – There have been enough days that were just cool enough to open up the windows and doors in the house. The cat sniffs eagerly and interestedly at outside through the open screens as I let the fresh air billow through the house, chasing open window to open door. Letting it refill the lungs of my home and accenting it with the sound of leaves rustling or rain pattering on the world without.
- The Glow of Flame – Whether it is my candles, our fireplace, a cozy scene on YouTube, or our firebowl on the deck, I love the comforting glow of flame. In it, there is a tug back into days gone by, days before “hustle” became the watchword of our society. Nights of quiet conversations, drifting imaginations, and gently-working hands. For me flame draws me to calmness, to burn slowly, take my time and consume what I need in order to glow.
I don’t have any profound lessons that I have learned this month or secrets to impart. All I have is what I have enjoyed and how its filled my soul, and I’m realizing that that was happening even more than I realized at the time. I am really, really thankful for that. As we slip from October into November, from Spooky Season to that of Gratitude and Thanksgiving, I hope that we can keep an eye out for the things we cherish, for those things that make us glow, even if the flame is small. The sun is still there, after all, even if it is watery and weak behind the clouds. It’s still there.
And so are we, Friendly Readers. We are still here. May this fall stretch and those moments of slowing down, cozying up, and feeding our glow continue.