October is a significant month in the life of my family. Our family is blessed in having been taught, through the generations, the importance of and respect for family. The sixth commandment given to Moses on Mount Sinai instructs that we should “honor our fathers and our mothers so that our days may be long upon the land.” Now the intent of this commandment is not to prolong an individual life, but that as a people who practice, we would be recognized for a very long time. Family is and has always been an important and cherished aspect in our lives. I believe this is reflected in the way we live and the way we can rely on the presence and wisdoms of our generations.
For us, October is a calendar “hot spot.” We begin on day one with the celebration of my father’s birthday which is followed by twenty-three others on just one side of the family. Each of my grandmothers were born in October and they are no longer on the list because they have moved on the be with the LORD where birthdays are not counted. Both of our daughters were born in October.
As birthdays are not the only events celebrated in the family, I checked in on wedding anniversaries as well. Quite surprisingly, we are about to celebrate only the third wedding anniversary of this month. But, then, by my count, we have at least six in June so there must be some account for traditions other than familial.
Our daughters are lifelong fans of the novel “Anne Of Green Gables.” A famous quote from this book is, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” I know of this quote because of yet another blessing recognized by living in respect of the moral guidelines given to Moses on that occasion many years ago: lifelong friendships celebrating shared passions. One of our daughter’s blessed friends gifted both with cards upon which the quote was shared. Every October I get to witness like gestures as these and other equally thought-filled personal gifts are shared.
October also brightens my life as the beauty of GOD’s creation is on vivid display. The majesty of the life cycle in nature can fill your days and act as a muse for spiritual reflection. Just this morning, as I was studying at my desk, I was blessed to gaze out the window to see two yearling deer grazing in the yard, nipping at low level branches offering tasty leaves and twigs. All the while a cooling breeze caused a shower of other leaves to enhance the view. The colorful background gave pause as I wondered how many deer and other animals were near yet camouflaged by the changing leaves of the bordering woods.
The weather is also a comforting thought in the month of October. Think about the modern conveniences of our homes and how we tend to use them. The mean temperature of homes during the winter months is 70 degrees. In the Summer … yet again, seventy degrees. Air conditioning is used mostly to remove the stickiness of summer’s humidity. Now consider October. Most HVAC units are given a break and we let the natural climatic order set the comfort levels. Oh, an occasional blanket is required, but who doesn’t like the snuggle of a warm blanket?
October offers many opportunities to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature and the camaraderie of your fellow man; from brisk walks to hayrides, from Octoberfest to Trick-or-Treat. So, if you have not permitted yourself the pleasure of a “snoot full of life,” then I invite you to take a stroll where you can breathe in a fresh dose of October. The crisp air moving lazily through colorful nature settling down for a long winter’s nap provides a cleansing of the lungs and the blowing-out of the cobwebs in your mind. The capture of woodland creatures milling about, enjoying the simple routine of life, allows your mind to reflect on simpler days gone by and the recreation you enjoyed back then.
May your stroll remind you that GOD gave us this world and life to enjoy and from which to learn. As our society continues to spin, seemingly out of control at times, it is important to remember that we are but sojourners. We can truly put on the breaks and embrace the simple truths of life; that if embraced like the October deer and respected like the families who are guided by the moral guidelines, we can continue to “live long and prosper.”
And, if you would like a good book recommendation to enjoy during your peaceful outing, I can certainly recommend two. Both referenced in this edition to Values for Living.
P.S. If you are looking to experience a worship experience in an October outdoor, all are welcome to the pavilion on Tarlton road this Sunday, the 11th, to hear the music of “Inheritance” at 10:30 a.m.
Written by the Rev. Robert Henry, Senior Minister “Living By Faith” Ministries and member of the Pickaway County Ministerial Association for The Circleville Herald.