Wednesday, October 01, 2003

The first of October, the beginning of my favorite month of the year. The day began as I flipped the page of my Jeff Palmer calendar, the sinewy and well furred torso of Mr. September giving way to the sculpted golden beauty of hunky Mr. October. Life is good.

As I live in New England, October means the turning of the leaves. This year the rain and temperature combination should lead to spectacular color. Already the "trash trees," swamp maples and any trees that are on their last legs, have
gone through their prolog to the big show. The Columbus Day weekend should be immense for the sugar maples that are the stars of the forest for their brilliant oranges, chinese reds and buttery yellows that seem as if lit from within.

My partner and I have a couple of rituals we love. One comes from way back in his grammar school days. One of his teachers used to teach her students a poem each year at this time about "October's bright blue weather." This Sunday morning we'll wake up, throw on whatever is close to hand and go out among the fruit trees and berry bushes. He'll recite the poem and we'll hold hands and
laugh, hug and kiss and then go in to breakfast. He'll ask if I want eggs or pancakes and on this morning of all mornings of the year I'll say pancakes because I know he will overfill them with blueberries that we picked and froze in August. And since it is the first Sunday of the month there will be Quaker Meeting in mid-morning. We'll sit silently next to each other for an hour in an exquisitely simple early Federal Period meeting house under the white pines, sunlight pouring in through tall slender windows, the scent of hardwood smoke in the air from the wood stove. October is the quintessential New England month, something so beautiful that it staggers the imagination.

We share it as we share everything, he and I. He loves me as nobody ever has and sometimes the reality of that is just overwhelming. He has only to put his arms around me and anything that hurts or frightens melts into insignificance.
How incredible is the love between men.

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