Henry David Thoreau,  Photo stories,  Where I'm published

Loving October

At the historic Royal Oak Township Cemetery / Cindy La Ferle

“October is the month for painted leaves….As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint just before they fall, so the year near its setting. October is its sunset sky; November the later twilight.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, “Autumnal Tints”

October tops my list of things that make me happy. Every year, I’m energized by the month’s crisp, cool weather — which always calls for beautiful boots and cozy sweaters. 

I love heirloom pumpkins, fires in the evening, harvest festivals, spicy pumpkin pies, and the changing colors of the landscape. I love how October rekindles our nurturing instincts, sending us back to the warmth of the kitchen to simmer a comforting one-pot meal or kettle of soup. 

October’s grand finale is Halloween, my favorite holiday. An essay I wrote on the topic was published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Bella Grace magazine, now available nationally in bookstores. 

People who don’t know me well are surprised when I tell them I watch scary movies (slasher films being the exception) in October. In the days ahead, I’ll revisit old favorites — The Haunting of Hill House, Practical Magic, Scream, The Witches of Eastwick, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Addams Family, and, of course, John Carpenter’s classic, Halloween

Cindy La Ferle

Why are some of us drawn to these movies? Psychologists have several theories. Among them: Scary films provide harmless thrills — a jolt for the senses — and a catharsis at the end. When “victims” in these films regain their power over ghosts, monsters, and or even the neighborhood bully, we feel empowered again. We want to see the good souls win. Or, as Stephen King aptly put it: “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”  

I hope all of you are celebrating the magic and riches of the harvest season. ~Cindy La Ferle

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.


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