I was shocked to realize this morning that it’s been five years since I did a full slate of October Thoughts. Five years.
In that time, I’ve written about soccer and little else. What a ride it’s been: a World Cup Final, three NWSL Finals, an MLS Cup final, CCL, the US Open Cup, and more than a few ill-advised road trips.
But somewhere, a little over a year ago, I basically stopped writing. A few words here or there, but nothing more. Maybe a little depression, more than a little frustration, and a complete forgetfulness about why I starting writing in the first place left me with no words to say.
Things started creeping up on me a few weeks ago. October things. If you’re not an October Person, this might not make any sense to you. And that’s okay. Theoretically, I know there are February People out there somewhere. I don’t know any, but I’m sure they’re out there. Maybe they’re ashamed of all the pink and red and heart-shaped things. Whatever. Everybody has their thing, and it seems a significant number of people are predisposed to October things.
Homemade applesauce, stuff that’s bat-silhouette-shaped, things that smell of pumpkin spice. October things.
It started in the mid-’90s, when I was circling Lake Michigan in a blue Ford Econoline van with a handful of friends. We spent a lot of time in Wisconsin which, in my humble opinion, is quintessentially October at least three months out of the year. Stunning fall color, sharply-steepled churches on hilltops (seriously, Google image search “Wisconsin church” and you get every picture-perfect October church imaginable), and tons and tons of small town harvest fests and whatnot.
We started making a list of our October Thoughts for the Day, things we could wax poetic about during the month of October, things that make October…October.
If you’re an October Person, you likely have a list of these things tucked away, even if it isn’t written on paper. It’s a little file in the back of your mind filled with sights and scents and sounds that elicit a specific response.
A lot of my October Thoughts were formed in childhood and memories of that time are triggered by a thousand different things. I think it’s probably the same for most October People.
So, as we wander deeper into October, I’d invite you to look back to your childhood, back to a time before everything got so complicated, back to when a white sheet was nothing more sinister than a ghost costume.
Remember the magic. That’s your assignment for the entirety of October.