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  • Martha J Allard

October Country





“October Country . . . that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and mid-nights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain. . . .” Ray Bradbury

Yesterday was the very first day that I felt October. I mean really felt it tapping on my shoulder. I know it's almost November, but I've only just put my shorts and sundresses away. Two weeks ago it was 88 degrees here.

Yesterday. The wind blustered and the sky roiled with heavy black clouds. The sun was brief but brilliant, and most of the day was full of big fat raindrops and golden leaves that spiraled straight down the street.

It was exactly like walking down a street in Bradbury's America. That place where you can smell apple pie baking on the same block that you see a dark man with a rusty knife just at the corner of your vision.

I live in a haunted house. I smell the forgotten cigarettes smoked decades ago. I squable with the former occupent over the arrangment of my kitchen cupboards. My cats listen to the footfalls of their old grannyman cat that passed away almost 10 years ago. We still hear his creak in the front hall as he keeps his watch over us.

I love this time you year. The world's borders are thin. Everything feels comforting and dangerous at the same time. Ghosts are everywhere, if you look.

With November looming, I am grateful to have had at least one perfect October day, as a reminder to look, to savor that particular slant of golden October light. Just a few minutes of that walk down Ray Bradbury's street before it all changes again.



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