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October - the Golden Month

Story ID:3002
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Cleveland Ohio USA
Year:2007
Person:various
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October - the Golden Month

I really don't know if colors are ascribed to each month of the year -aside from their birthday gem designation, but I thought I would try to give-- if not all-- some months a color. I'm calling October the "golden" month but
I don't think I can wax eloquently enough to justify this wondrous adjective. I'd better just be satisfied with calling it the "yellow" month. Yes, there are "golden" shocks of corn in the fields and there maybe a "golden" harvest moon,
but what most comes to mind for me are the falling leaves of many different beautiful hues --especially the preponderance of bright yellow ones which fall from my front tree this time of year.

What about the other months and the colors they conjure up for me? May is emerald - maybe because of it's gem stone connection to it. My mother was born in May. December is white because I think we all dream about having a
white Christmas even if we live in those states which rarely if ever have snow. My father was born on Dec. 25th!

July is red because I associate it with the feast of the Precious Blood of Christ. November is grey and surprisingly, I don't mind grey skies, but if the grey skies open up with a chilly rain, I'm saddened for the homeless castaway dogs and cats who cannot find adequate shelter.

January is icy blue, and if you live in a northern clime you'll understand that
designation though I'm told that our Ohio winter this year will be mild. We'll see. April showers --what color is water? Imagine- the life-sustaining rain is colorless, so I'll have to settle for green as April's color with the new green shoots of grass poking out from the brown earth while up above the trees are sprouting new green buds as well.

August is blue - the color of Mary which the Mother of God is most associated with. A special feast is celebrated in August in honor of her Assumption into heaven. It is believed that when the apostle Thomas came too late to bid Mary a last good-by, he asked to see her earthly remains one last time. When her tomb
was opened, they found it empty! Byzantine Catholics like to bring beautiful and
fragrant flowers on this day to church for the liturgy commemorating this wonderful event.

If I haven't mentioned your favorite month - then maybe you can ascribe a befitting color to it with equally befitting remarks. The "poet" in me is exhausted all too soon. I have left many months in color "limbo."

October is a special month because it brings to mind a special saint - St.Francis of Assisi whose feast we celebrated on October 4th. Who doesn't know and love St. Francis?

In October's Catholic Digest I enjoyed reading Sean Patrick's story re Father O'Phelan's big idea. Sean writes about his early days growing up in Cleveland in the 50's or 60's and attending St. Columbkille School. This particular October Fr. O'Phelan was thinking of having a special "Blessing of the Animals" to mark the feast of St. Francis.

The plan was to have a Mass in the schoolyard and at a certain point all those with pets would bring them up to have them blessed. On the appointed day the weather was disappointingly cold and rainy. So the blessing was moved
inside and now only Sean Patrick can do justice in describing the mayhem which followed:
"As the Mass continued, the variety of noises increased. Large dogs seemed to want to "woof" at the end of each Latin prayer. Smaller scoots soon set up a constant chorus of yips and yaps. Bloke's dog, who was not on a leash decided
to inspect the sanctuary, sending Bloke and his brother Eamon scurrying around to retrieve him. Several cats wriggled free from their owners, who crawled around on hands and knees and peered under pews in search of them."

Obviously, it was total chaos but the Mass was celebrated and the blessing of the animals was performed. After the Mass, poor Fr. O'Phelan, followed by the altar boys including Sean went into the sacristy to face Monsignor as quickly as possible to "get it over with." But when Father pushed open the sacristy door he was greeted with thunderous laughter.

"I've never seen anything so funny in my life as Gert O'Malley tryin' to get that cat of hers out from under the pew," Monsignor laughed. Despite the reversal of plans and the cacaphony which erupted during the Mass, the blessing
of the animals became an annual event per Sean Patrick.

St. Francis loved people too and there is a story in the CD reflecting that which I believe would have pleased him greatly. An elderly woman caused an auto accident which resulted in two wrecked cars and an injured driver in the car she hit.

At the license hearing in court, the elderly woman and her daughter listened as the young woman who had been driving the other car got up to speak. Se described her injuries and how the pain was with her yet. But she also told the judge that she had no desire to sue the elderly mother. And then she did something quite
remarkable. She went directly to the old woman and said, "Please, think carefully about whether you're still able to drive safely. I think you should give up your license. But I know how hard it is to get around our town without a car, so I want you to know, if you need to get to the store or to the doctor, give me a call. I'll be glad to give you a ride."

Wow! what a beautiful woman. The courtroom was stunned. The judge remarked how he had never seen such compassion and generosity from an accident victim. The elderly mother cried and surrendered her license.

In today's licentious society where we sue at the drop of a hat, this young lady is truly remarkable and knows what it is to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I could not help but recall the sad event of a beautiful young lady in Cleveland who lived in a black neighborhood.

One day as she was driving through it, a young black child dashed in front of her car.
There was a sickening thud. The young lady immediately got out of her car and went to give CPR to the child but to no avail. Can you imagine that the parents of this child went on to persecute her and they called her a
murderer? They pelted her house and the family was forced to move. That persecuting family had no concept of the word accident, nor did they have any concept of understanding and
forgiveness.

On a lighter note - Cleveland was enjoying an Indian Summer - truly a "golden" time for us but this time it also referred to the Cleveland Indians Central Division Championship title as well as the weather.

However, as anyone who saw or heard about the the second game with the Yankees the hapless Yankee pitcher was beset by a swarm of midges (gnats). They even had to spray him with Shout Out. One internet sportwriter said "It was the greatest bugging since Watergate."

While the image and remark seem funny now, I was truly sorry for the beleaguered pitcher even though I was naturally rooting for the Cleveland Indians. We won that game, but I guess everyone is wondering if the midges were a deciding factor. I hope not.

And now from a true reflector of autumn in CD's Quiet Moments for October 27--I found: "In autumn's vibrant colors there are reminders of summer's fullness of life, of winter's impending bleakness, and of the prospect of spring not far beyond. Autumn compels us to think about life's transience and continuity all in one.
(Small Creatures and Ordinary Places.)

*** The picture of dogs, cats, cows, and yaks also shows some beautiful small and large horses.
The blessing of animals was at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. (Photo by Bernardo Nunez)