Romulus, the legendary first ruler of Rome, is said to have given us October when he introduced the 10-month Roman calendar. Its eighth month was designated by the Latin word “octo,” meaning eight.
Across the Atlantic Ocean early North American natives had a more colorful idea. They chose to title this same moon, which is coming full this week, “the moon of falling leaves.”
The name better suits this month when the goose flies and the hunter’s afield in a ripening world. Cooler evenings fill with the aroma of fireplace wood smoke, of leaves burning and of rich, moldering earth. The scents add a touch of nostalgia in the air, sweet still with the departed summer’s perfumes.
The fast-shifting angles of sun and moon remind us it’s time for the winds of change. October in the Carolinas paints rainbows of red and gold from mountain tops, green and orange to the lowlands.
A sudden migration of snow birds mingling with the southbound flocks is a reliable indicator of shifting seasons. The term snowbirds is not to be confused with snow geese and similar avian forms. Snowbirds tend to be best described as aging Homo sapien types with thinning hair and an affinity for migrating by yacht or wing, determined to evade winter weather by seeking refuge in inviting areas, most often gathering around golf courses found in Southern recreational resorts.
October awakens the yellow and orange of leaves and sends them sailing to crunch beneath our feet. It is a mix of chilling winds and misty mornings followed by soul-warming sun and sapphire skies. October spells perfection.