Number 33

October Road

We made it. October.

It's a comment I made on a Zoom call yesterday, after which I immediately added, "and I don't even know what significance that holds this year." It's a time of such confusion and disappointment and, I might as well say it, disgust. A time of let down after let down after the-standards-get-lower let down.

But still let's hold to the expectation, what do you say? Let's believe in spite that October will be magical, its gentler temperatures and golden-er hues and softer light at least bathing our individual worlds in a more temperate, open-hearted humor. One that encourages kindness and helpfulness and spirits that are hopeful. Let's create joy, let's look for sweet moments, let's celebrate every tiny, hard-fought, hold-on-for-dear-life morsel of good.

Because they're there, I know they are, even if some days it takes sifting to get to them. Let's get to them, by gosh; let's lift the good high and refuse to let go; let's fill October with every sight / smell / sound / emotion / taste that leaves us warm and happy and satisfied.

Pumpkin spice latte, yes. Pumpkin spice everything, if that brings you joy.

Bring. It. On.

I made us an October soundtrack! Find it here. (Guess what the first song is? Oh, and let me know what I've missed and I will add. LMK via Instagram or my new email,
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Why do we love pumpkin spice so much? Turns out it's not the taste, according to sensory neuroscientist Dr. John McGann of the Rutgers department of psychology.
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It's one of the good things to come of the pandemic, the offering of Author Talks To Author (from the comfort of their casual living rooms) while we readers get to eavesdrop from the comfort of ours. And man oh man is October delivering a plethora! Click here to see the list of authors "attending" the Southern Festival of Books, a virtual event this year that offers two weeks filled with conversation after conversation, panel after panel. IT'S ALL FREE. You don't have to travel to Nashville, and you can wear pajamas, if that's your thing. I just watched Ann Patchett (The Dutch House) chat with Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing and her new release, Transcendent Kingdom) and if you are in need of an intelligent, civilized conversation about Things That Matter—honey that was it. I've made my schedule and there is something about which I am excited almost every day. Plus there is a You Tube channel where you can access the sessions later, at Southern Festival of Books.
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Photo: chelseasmessyapron
Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin—the season is here and yes to all, I say! I made this vegetarian Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili from chelseasmessyapron just the other night and I wholeheartedly endorse its making.
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Compare it, why not, with
Pumpkin Spiced White Russian, from
September 9, 2020

H(art) to H(art)

What does your heart love? What does it long for? There's poetic truth to be found there, I believe, and if you give it voice--through creation of any kind--I think you'll be surprised by what you see.
October 20, 2019
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Changing Seasons.

Of all the posts I've written, this one from last October is one of the most poignant for me. We were in the throes of moving, and I was an emotional mess. Then words came to me via Maria Popova's beautiful Brain Pickings newsletter about October and the change of the seasons and the changing of our seasons. Every hope I could summon to offer myself encouragement at that time has proven true. This October finds me happy, settled and at peace.
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from Changing Seasons, on The Daily Grace

Wear a mask. Extend grace. Love your neighbors well.

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