It was the time between the lights when colours undergo their intensification and purples and golds burn in window-panes like the beat of an excitable heart; when for some reason the beauty of the world … which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder. – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
It is October. Blog posts should come easily right now. Beauty upon beauty spins gently from the maple trees. The world is polished to a coppery shine. Yet I have felt anxious. Tongue-tied.
Virginia Woolf was right about the beauty that is particular to October days. Yes, there is laughter (children diving into piles of leaves, Jonathan and I planting daffodil bulbs together), but there is anguish, too.
For weeks now I have been trying to understand why the beauty of October makes me sad. Has it always been this way? Is it more pronounced this year?
Last spring, I wrote about the beauty of the golden hour. Here at Maplehurst, the whole month of October is golden. There is the glow of all these maple trees, but it is more than that. The light itself has changed. It is rich and thick, like caramel sauce. Or melted butter. Now, even the blue sky has a golden tint.
What is the golden hour? What is this golden, October light?
It is good news from a far country (Proverbs 25:25).
But that country is not yet our possession. It remains just out of reach. During October, it draws near, but it will not stay for long. I never can forget that all these trees will soon be bare.
Perhaps one way we follow in the footsteps of a wounded redeemer is when we do not look away. When we refuse the numbness and distraction of our cellphone or our television show or whatever it is that is so much less beautiful and so much easier to behold.
It isn’t easy to live our lives against the backdrop of rich, ringing gold. The rift between October’s beautiful song and our own tempers and headaches and worries is too great. It would be easier not to look. Not to see.
In October, I understand that I live most of my days with a veil over my eyes.
Will we ever be bold enough to lift our heads towards an October sky and “with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory?” (2 Cor 3:18).
The cost is anguish, but the prize is laughter.
This is so lovely! You capture the beautiful ache that is October with such poignancy.
Thank you so much, Stephanie.
This is beautiful. October has left me tongue-tied this year as well. And I start feeling the ache in August, thinking about December on its way. I want to pay attention though to what is before me. Not dreading or fretting about what is to come and not mourning what was.
Yes. Well said.
Liked this a lot. This October is different for me as well. My son in prison will be released next month. And though I thought I would prefer October to fly by, I find that to the contrary, I wish it to slow and pass quietly, lingering. Anticipation I suppose. Love this time of year, and appreciate your writing.
Sweet anticipation! Thank you for taking the time to comment, Leslie. Many blessings to you and your son.
So lovely, and yes, I’ve been feeling the ache of October too, even amid the gold. Thank you for these words, Christie.
Thanks for being here, Katie.
Oh my gosh – yes! I have been outside every single day hungrily eating up the October sky and the light and the deep orangey trees. I love this.
Me too, Erin. It’s an ache-y kind of beauty, but I adore it.
Yes. Yes, exactly. And beautifully said.
Such lovely truth here. Thank you, Christie.
You captured it so well. Fall makes me long for full restoration. Its the time of year when no matter the crushing ugliness around you, you can look up and God surrounds us with beauty. As if He is shouting-“Look, this is what it is meant to be and will be again.”. I just want to soak all the beauty in. Glory.
It is wonderful and crushing all at the same time.
Your words are so sweet…”The light itself has changed. It is rich and thick, like caramel sauce. Or melted butter. Now, even the blue sky has a golden tint.”
I love the change of seasons, autumn being my favorite. For me, it has always felt like a time of turning inward, of taking inventory of myself, of digging deeper into my roots and learning how I need to change – and grow.
I want to look with unveiled face to contemplate the Lords’ glory. Thank you for your encouragement.