October is synonymous with Fall in the northern hemisphere. It’s the height of the changing of the leaves and it has been referred to as the “yellow month” in many countries for the fading of the leaf. It has been said by artists that October is the “holy grail of light”. The light comes in at an angle unlike the blinding fullness of summer light. One can detect subtle changes on the landscape. Clouds seem to have more depth, the sun’s shadows still create life everywhere, inviting the artist to take photographs perhaps to paint a captured moment...later when the evening draws quick.
In the eastern hemisphere, where many Asian countries do not experience the same “colours” of the season of Fall, there still seems to be a common ground that change is in the air. For example, where I live in Thailand, Thai people are now making preparations for the annual October Vegetarian Festival. This festival has been celebrated for decades and is believed to bring good fortune and good luck to those who observe its rites and rituals.
The earliest records of vegetarianism come from ancient India and ancient Greece in the 6th century BC. In the Asian instance, the diet was closely connected with the idea of nonviolence towards animals and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers. Among the Hellenes and Egyptians, it had medical or ritual purification purposes. There are plenty of colourful vegetation delights that are created, shared and enjoyed by many during this festive time in Thailand. This festival marks as well the change of low season to high season – or from the rainy season to sunnier times.
I have often wondered how many eyes are looking at the abundance of the full golden harvest moon at the same time? Does a person in Canada, have similar hopeful thoughts as someone who is seeing the same moon in Vietnam? Or the gorgeous colours of a sunrise? How many are praying to the mystery at the same time every day? How many people are expressing gratitude at the same time – creating a symphony of soft whispers and peaceful thoughts.
Where ever you are in the world, may the changing light of the month of October, inspire you to think of others in different parts of the world. May the many cultures and their traditions remind us that people do come together to celebrate the abundance of life in its many forms. That gratitude is an active virtue wherein the more you express it, the more you have to keep expressing it!
Thank you October!
Denise Bertrand for The Aquarian Team