October’s always a bittersweet month.
It’s not like September when you can pretend that it’s still summer and you can continue to wear shorts and sandals and go camping and canoeing in said shorts and sandals.
But October, it’s fall and there’s no two ways about it.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be a lovely month. It can even be warm and sunny, especially on the West Coast. Our falls are very mild, there’s no doubt about it.
But it’s still not summer.
In fact, even though today is the second day of October, I’m considering October started on Monday when I woke up to the first frost on the ground. It wasn’t much of a frost. My car’s windshield did that thing where they look like they’re covered in condensation but when you turn on the wipers they skate across the thin layer of frost it actually is. You groan and think, do I actually have to scrape my windows? Thankfully, no, this frost is so thin you can soak it with your windshield washer fluid (straight water, in my case) and it washes right off like nothing.
But the first shot has been fired. Summer’s over.
Now’s the time when all your winter activities get underway.
We brace ourselves for the windy blasts of southeasters (even though we’ve already had one – putting shame to seasonal generalizations) and the damp chill that permeates your clothes.
That chill is the reason people in interior but colder climes shrug off low temperatures with the phrase “But it’s a dry cold.”
You can bundle up against a dry cold, it doesn’t soak through the layers like the moisture of the West Coast marine climate does.
Thankfully, October does have many mild moments. It prevents you from getting too sombre about the impending grey days of winter. In fact, our Campbell River climate can hit you with a sunny, mild day in any month. Then it’s like you emerge from a cocoon, your shoulders roll back and your face turns to the sky like a flower and absorbs all the vitamin D it can.
I’m never ready to turn my back on summer. It’s my favourite season. I love the heat and never seem to get enough of it.
So, here’s to October (it does end with my birthday, so there’s that to look forward to) and once I’ve accepted the change over, I’ll begin to appreciate all that’s good about winter.
But not just yet.
Alistair Taylor is editor of the Campbell River Mirror.