I used to get my hair cut twice a year—
grow it long, cut it short, grow it long, cut it short.
Each trip to the salon
wrapped neatly inside an hour,
the look I left with as final as
the severing of that first big chop.
Home haircuts are slower things—
tentative and tender,
gradually snipping a little
and a little more.
I’ve already had three
in as many months.
Or maybe it’s just one long cut
that keeps going.
Between haircuts, I tilt my head at the mirror
using scissors to coax locks into place,
nudging strands this way and that,
waiting for the right shape
to reveal itself.
Sometimes I feel that’s all I do anymore—
tilt my head and stare and wait,
whittling away at time
while time keeps growing longer,
expecting the world—eventually—to form a shape
I recognize again.
Once again, I blinked and October slipped away, like a monster that was there one minute and gone the next, leaving me whirling in circles wondering where it might be hiding.
Once again, my favorite month is coming to a close, and I’m sitting here wondering, What did I do the past 31 days? Was I even awake? Did I even experience it?
The truth is, I always expect October to be BIG, when really it is small. It is one small moment followed by another and another and another. That’s the way it should be. I like the fact that I can fit October in my pocket. How else am I to carry it with me all year?
Tomorrow begins November, which is a fine month too, a month of crackling leaves and woodsmoke and cold noses warmed by hot tea. But while I’m watching the trees turn red, I’ll be looking around for the monster that slipped away so silently, the one I know still watches from the shadows. When I take down my Halloween decorations, I’ll slip a spider in my pocket. During the long year ahead, I’ll keep an eye out for small moments that smell of pumpkin seeds and hint of mischief.
And I’ll wait, impatiently, for October to return.
* * * * *
Tomorrow I will announce the winners of my October giveaway. You have until midnight tonight to enter!