This column was originally written for Kansas Farm Bureau’s Insight column that ran in newspapers throughout Kansas in October 2019. To view the original column, click here.
The temperatures have dropped, and it’s truly beginning to feel like fall on the farm. The air feels crisper, the sky seems brighter and everything seems a bit fresher now that the summer heat has left. It’s as if the plants, animals and people have all perked up after they’ve had to conserve their energy, seek shade and retreat from August and September.
But it’s now October, where the true magic happens.
I may be a bit biased about my affection for October. After all, it’s my birthday month. It’s also the month where I brought both of my babies home to the farm. I will always have in my mind the feelings of anxious anticipation as my belly reached maximum capacity while wondering how many acres of soybeans would be harvested or how many fields of wheat would be sowed before having to make our way to the hospital.
I always will have in my mind the image of my tiny daughter, wearing a petite bow on her head, snuggled peacefully in her car seat while a combine roared past harvesting soybeans.
I always will have in my mind the image of my tiny son warmly snuggled in my arms while sitting in the bleachers at the sale barn listening to the auctioneer introduce our lot of good looking, healthy weaned calves as they entered the ring.
I always will have in my mind the image of my kids straddling their bikes on our dirt road waving goodbye to a trailer load of our cattle headed to another pasture where they’d spend the winter months away from our home.
Yes, some of my best memories are from October.
If I could, I’d gather October in a Mason jar. Just like canning the bounties from a summer garden, I’d place this season on my pantry shelves and enjoy servings throughout the year.
And while tasty, it’s not the pumpkin spice that I’d truly want. It’s the cool, crisp air in the mornings that sends shivers through one’s body that isn’t quite ready to wear a heavy coat yet. It’s the beautiful evenings with a pink and orange painted sky that you can enjoy while watching children ride their bikes around the farmyard. It’s the time in the combine sitting next to my husband harvesting rows of soybeans. It’s the consideration of turning on the heater or waiting a few more days. It’s the sound of honking birds above that are beginning to make their trek south. It’s the clear night sky, and a bright full moon, and the sounds of farmers toiling in nearby fields that carries just a bit more into one’s senses.
I tend to catch myself taking deep breaths when I walk outside as if I know this season is only here for a limited time before we begin seeking refuge from the cold. Try as I might, I can’t quite breathe in enough of this beautiful month.
Just as Anne reveled in the world of color about her in the children’s novel “Anne of Green Gables,” I, too, am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.