How to Live with Contradictions: Embrace October


“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.” ~Thomas Wolfe

It took me forty years to unearth this truth: Everything I hunger for is satisfied by October.

It is a study in contrasts:  warm and cold, wet and dry, blooming with life and sliding towards decay. It is glorious in its turning, changeable by nature, and I can feel the heft of it bearing down on my shoulders. It is weighty.

Each day is unknowable from the beginning and yet satisfying in its end.

October reminds me to set my face towards home. It is a returning to all the disparate, changeable sides of myself, and acknowledging that I can welcome all parts of me to be at home here. Like you, like October, I am a study in contrasts too. I am a homesick wanderer. An artist mother. A dreamy pragmatist. A lazy runner. A skeptical believer. A wise fool.

It has taken many years for me to learn the beauty of complexity and accept that this complexity is ok. It’s ok to hold all of these things within my body. It’s ok to give them a flesh and blood home.

If you find yourself struggling with some of the contradictions in your life, wondering how to feel at home within yourself again, step outside and take a deep breath of October. Take note of the warmth of the sun carried by the sharp bite of the autumn wind. Listen for the crunch of leaves beneath hibernating branches. Recognize it as a wealth of riches, a homecoming, a ripeness.

Find yourself at home within the contradictions, not in spite of them. Welcome home. Welcome October.