“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
-L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)
I was given the first three Anne of Green Gables books by my godmother when I was in the 6th grade and I very quickly devoured them. Anne had such a strong spirit and solid sense of herself, even though her life was far from perfect. I liked to think that she and I were similar beings, just living in different parts of the world.
I enjoy the above quote immensely. As a child and young adult, fall was always my favorite time of year. October specifically was my favorite month. My birthday lands on October 3rd and I always loved celebrating. I also loved the colors, the smells, the feel of fall.
That all changed when I lost my older sister Jennifer Ann in 2005. It was on the 6th day of my favorite month, my birthday month, that she took her own life after a long battle with depression and anxiety. For a long time after that, fall was no longer for celebrating. It was replaced with grief, confusion, anger and a deep sadness. Eleven years have passed and I have slowly worked to reclaim my favorite season. Instead of anger I focus on compassion. Instead of sadness I focus on gratitude. Instead of grief…well, grief is a hard one. It is always there, it just becomes less powerful with time.
I am learning to love October like I once did, with all of it’s complexity and mystery and beauty. I love it again for my daughter Ruby Ann. So that she can see how truly beautiful it is. So that maybe someday it can be her favorite month as well.
I hope that all of you can enjoy and embrace this time of year. I also hope that you can join us at ecce in the coming weeks for our classes, courses, film night or chanting (or all of them!). I am grateful for the amazing love and generosity that all of you share with me in the ecce space. It means so much to me to hold the space and to share it with all of you.