I love October and always will. I just wish it felt the same, carried with it the same meaning that it once did. Or twice. In college it was Bre and that bittersweet first love and loss. Euphoria, foolishness, naivete, wounded pride, ego, hurt, emptiness. But after a very short time all I really remembered was (and still is): our first meeting at the picnic table, the others filing off one by one until it was just Bre and I. Outlasting the other guy interested in spending more time with her. Her incredible smile. Mischievous, inviting, and warm. Walking out of Fuller, feeling the cold air hit our face, holding her hand as we made our way to her dorm, our breathe misting in front of our faces; the stars, the moon, and a 19 year old's certainty of first love's happily ever after. I found out she had been diagnosed with cancer in another October, a quarter century after that first meeting.
My family makes its annual pilgrimage to some local mountains (hills) and in two weeks it will be the 22nd consecutive trip for some of us. During that time it has ranged from a day spent with my Uncle to a gaggle of us, feasting, cycling, playing tennis, huddled by the fireplace, telling and retelling stories, laughing, solving the world's problems, and sharing some of the best of memories. For four years there would be letters or emails waiting for me from my dear long distance friend, catching me up on what had happened in her world that week, telling me how much she missed starting and ending each day with silly &/or thoughtful messages from me and then the year that she planned to join us for our journey. Now this will be the fourth year that there is only silence that will greet my return. I know four years is way to long to waste wondering why but I still don't understand it and I know I never will.
I love this month, always will, but nothing cuts into my soul like October.