They tell us October has become our favorite month of the year. “They” refer to several recent surveys from assorted colleges, television weather-casters, and the folks on my block who are planning this humongous Octoberfest.
Frankly, it strikes me we need no surveys to quantify the obvious. When it comes to weather, colors, and overall atmosphere, Octobers in our Midwest have it all. Topped off at the end with the magic of Halloween.
I say magic, because I am convinced that’s what has made Halloween our nation’s second most popular holiday.
OK, OK, I understand we move in an empirical age when magic has lost some of its old allure. We are now a rational species that has long since put away the things of a child, the perversity of the Middle Ages, and most references to the supernatural. And yet I am willing to bet my last year’s Sarah Palin costume that magic — with all its myths and mysteries — is the trigger that ignites our city’s annual flurry of pumpkins, parties, and pizzazz.
October magic both excites and empowers us like nothing else. The excitement is evident in the way people get out and savor the daily magic of brisk morning air, changing hues, chattering children, steaming cocoas, silly pumpkin faces, outlandish costumes, plus the start of year-end holidaying. Next there is this silent empowerment taking place. This subconscious feeling that at this time of year we are somehow just a little more than usual, a bit larger than life, we really do belong if only for a little while inside those super-hero costumes.
This year’s predicted Arctic winter will arrive soon enough, quickly chilling us out of our October magic. Few of us look or feel very super when battling the white winds of November and December. But for now, for this magic month of the year, there’s something in the air that makes some of us feel, well, different than the rest of our properly empirical year.
In my case, so different that I just may wear my costume to work.
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