Thoughts on October

October blew in and out almost before I knew it was here and it wasn’t until I sat down to write this post that I realized I haven’t even written a blog post in a month. We seemed to go straight from summer to winter here in Maryland so I was grateful to spend some time outdoors in Pennsylvania and New York where it seemed a bit more like fall. This month’s animal spirit card was the hawk, and I tried to spend a lot of time meditating on its message:

October: Hawk: Creature of the Air: Watchful, All-Seeing, Messenger of Divinity

The sharp eyes of the Hawk watch our every move.  This keen-eyed bird has the ability to see every little detail as well as the bigger picture.  When this card appears, fate has its eyes on you, and the winds are shifting. It is said that the Hawk carries news upon its wings and is sent from divinity itself to deliver it.  The message should not be taken lightly... though it may seem small or insignificant, it will eventually redirect your course.

When in Balance: "sees" clearly, intuitive

When out of Balance: sees too much, suspicious

To bring into Balance: perspective shift

I do feel like I was able to shift perspective, and I’ve certainly needed to, as there have been so many events and possibilities happening, like leaves falling through the air, and for perhaps the first time in my life I don’t feel like I can make a solid plan for the future. Rather, I’m discovering that if I grab any one leaf the path may shift and change radically and I don’t yet know which path I want or which one life will open up or force me on. There isn’t a lack of creative ideas either, but rather an abundance and the difficulty is, in part, how to keep them all alive with limited time (and sometimes confidence, to be honest) to bring them to fruition. Some things have also happened that are out of my control and I’ve had to think about how to react to those and consider both what could happen in various scenarios and what I might actually want to happen in them. Yes, I’m being deliberately vague.

On to the specific events of the month - a little music, a bunch of travel and a lot of Harry Potter (to combat the frustrations, stress and grief). I spent a day, along with other fraternity leadership, in sexual assault prevention training down at the University of Maryland as a part of our Fraternal Health and Safety Initiative - an intense 11 hour day of learning and preparing to teach to our students. Todd and I enjoyed a weekend in the woods at French Creek State Park in Pennsylvania with his family, soaking in the cold (and rain) of the first real fall-like weekend of the year around the campfire and with hikes through the forest. Our friends Casi and Jason got married in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by many of our Baltimore friends. After a late night of celebrating, I got up the next morning to drive to Pittsburgh for the Rail~Volution transit conference, squeezing in a visit to my girl Niki and some time with my parents over 2.5 days before an early morning drive straight to a work meeting. It was a very short week, which included a friend date for Anne of Green Gables and a community meeting, before Todd and I were off to New York! Our main destination was the Harry Potter History of Magic exhibit at the New York Historical Society, but also took some time to explore Brooklyn and the Upper East Side of Manhattan with some great friends. No surprise, I insisted on walking the High Line, wandering through Central Park, visiting Prospect Park for the first time, and exploring the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. We had some of New York’s best hot chocolate, bagels (of course), pasta, and farm to table brunch in addition to Michelle’s great cooking. Many thanks to Risa for showing us some of your favorite places!

In addition to the travel, I book-ended the month with music - Elektric Voodoo in Philly to start and James McMurtry at the Creative Alliance on Halloween. I did a bunch of photo exploring of the places we visited and did the 3rd shoot of the next Day in the Life series I’m publishing.

Sadly, there was tragedy too. Some friends experienced close personal losses and the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue was in my parents’ neighborhood, where I grew up. Loss of life is never easy to reconcile, but it is particularly poignant when it hits so close to home. I am doing my best to stay close to the friends who have suffered and to help affect change from afar by donating to causes like HIAS and making sure I vote this election day.

For this coming month, I am trying to do one thing at a time, the best I can. Grab one leaf and see where it will lead.