The crisp air in the mornings is so much more pleasant to breathe in, compared to the heat and humidity of summer. I venture out and see more intricate cobwebs (and even a greenish-white spider in the grass), where my footsteps crunch the falling leaves. Sunshine and shorts in the afternoon give way to warmer clothes and a campfire in the evenings.
Sigh. Bring on October!
People in the Bible celebrate harvest. That excites some of you in modern times, or a local Octoberfest builds anticipation. I hope every reader and everyone I know sees the beauty of autumn. Whatever we celebrate, October is a month for treats. There are auctions, the end of farmers’ markets, book and craft fairs. Why not add a little romance? Local vineyards are a lovely place to visit at this time of year, where moseying along hand-in-hand adds to the flavor of the environment. Getting out and about also pleases people watchers. And who knows when writers get a spark for character ideas, dialogue, or settings?
In quiet moments, it’s a time to reflect. It’s also a season that calls for preparing to hunker down with inside handcrafted projects, hobbies, sorting photographs, or scrapbooking—those things we set aside for outside summer activities. My sewing crafts of yesteryear have given way to writing, maybe since my mind sharpens at this time of year. And I remember…
The kids in my one-roomed country school, all twelve of us, made the usual decorations from construction paper, carved the Jack-O-Lantern, and brought in gourds and pumpkins. We had parties that included bobbing for apples. I remember melting caramels for candy apples and popping popcorn to shape into colored balls, and drinking spiced apple cider: traditions passed on to our children. And one of my favorite songs from the green school songbook was “On Halloween Night.” I can still sing the first verse, and hear the voices of other students giving it a ghostlike echo. Oh, the sounds of harvest.
I consider events from my past that matter, such as the neighbors who came to my father’s rescue the year he was unable to harvest our corn. They rolled in with their pickers and tractors and trucks, while the women brought bounty from their own kitchens.
Life experiences build character. We gain grist for writing our characters’ emotions based upon our own past and what we’ve observed by living. Good and bad. I don’t believe any of us write totally for the sake of fiction—a bit of who we are has to come through in story. Whatever our memories, whatever our values, we’ve taken something from our past that reveals itself through the words we write.
I still smile when I add author to my roles in life, and I count continued blessings for me to be associated with a godly publishing company. But first, I’m a child of the living God, wife to a protective hero, mother and grandmother. With all of who I am, I look forward to the treat of celebrating all that God has planned for me in coming seasons.