It’s Ahhhh-tober

by Curt Kovener    

On Monday we began the autumnal month that, from the standpoint of the senses, is surely misspelled.

For the next four weeks all our body’s senses will be reminded of the seasonal pleasures of Ahhhh-tober.

Look about the fields. The drying corn that survived the drought is already bowing its ears indicating the time of harvest is about to begin. Second crop soybeans are gaining a yellow tinge telling us that they are also nearly ready for picking. My garden is now flourishing almost in a last minute rush to ripen all fruit before the frost, which is surely to arrive sometime this month.

In the woods the sumac, sweet gum and beech are already shedding their chlorophyll masks revealing their leaves’ many true shades of scarlet. And before the month is out the poplar, hickory and maple will offer their compliments with hues of golds and yellows along with the muted tones of brown from the family of oaks. It is nature’s artist palate from which we must drink deeply because, unlike the summer-long green season, Jack Frost’s work is all too fleeting: it is there in the air and with a brisk fall breeze, the colors become a carpet.

And too soon there will be the rustle-crunch of leaves as they are raked. In not-so-olden times there would be large piles inviting youngsters to jump right in. And formerly there would be the pleasant acrid smoke as piles of leaves were burned.

Now I grind the leaves into mulch for the flower and vegetable garden.

There is the early Ahhhh-tober morning chill when a flannel shirt or jacket allows us to enjoy a morning walk. But to take in the month’s pleasures, our gait must be slowed to an appropriate and appreciative stroll. By mid-day the temperature has climbed to make the extra layer of clothing uncomfortable, so we must remove it and enjoy the golden warmth of a fall day.

But don’t misplace your jacket for it will surely be needed again tomorrow morning as the daily month-long cycle repeats as the thermometer retreats.

We should embrace these golden Ahhhh-tober days for next month’s rain will come cold and gray and be a harbinger of nature’s seasonal winter sleep to come.

The southern Indiana persimmon, have started to release its fruit from its branches, allowing me to make a batch of fresh persimmon pudding.

My favorite brown wool hat, Charley the yellow Lab, and a tromp through the chilled woods crunching over fallen leaves, picking up some hickory nuts, breathing deep of the warming tones of nature. Returning home it gives me that good kind of tired feeling that when I lean back in my comfortable chair I am convinced the month surely must be Ahhhh-tober.