It is an October in my Soul: A Tragical Fall Tale

It is an October in my Soul: A Tragical Fall Tale

Is Fall your favorite time of year? I’m guessing if you chose to read this blog then yes, you treasure and savor the change in light and the color of the trees & look as giddily forward to October 1st as I do.

For the last 8 years fall brought me charming semesters with my fellow English majors. Fall meant long evenings sipping lattes on the third floor of the library pouring over books on Shakespeare, Milton & Marlowe. Fall meant paradise for me. If you know an English major you won’t be surprised to learn that they are some of the most sentimental people you will ever meet. There is something in our natures & love for books that inevitably brings about a hopeless sense of romance when we think about fall semesters & rainy campuses.

This is my first fall without school. I finished my master’s degree last autumn, it was crazy, wonderful, the most stressful thing I’ve ever done and I miss it desperately. I feel as though a piece of myself is missing, that a beautiful part of my life is over.

I made myself cry just writing that – a true sign of sentimentality & english major funk? I think so.

Even though school has not ushered me into fall the way it has for almost the last decade, I have still felt the simple joys of buying my first (6) pumpkins, sipping my first spiced latte & seeing the charming decorations at Disneyland at twilight.

I’m realizing there are lots of things I dearly love about Fall & that I don’t need a library, tons of homework, or puddly-campus to savor it.

Here are just a few of my favorite fall treats:

Fall is my favorite season for many reasons so here is a list of all my favorite little Fall things!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes – I squealed in delight with my first sip.

– Come to think of it, there is pumpkin-flavored everything this time of year. that’s great.

Disneyland’s Halloween transformation. The streets are stacked with pumpkins & the glowing windows are filled with spooky displays. The Haunted Mansion gets a makeover and you can smell the gingerbread house in the grand ballroom that is specially redesigned every year for the ride. Big Thunder Ranch is perfect with the pumpkin-carvers and the festive little cottage. It’s Disney at it’s best.

– Trader Joe’s pumpkins! They’re cheap & beautiful – a perfect combo.

– The time of year when you watch “You’ve Got Mail” – one of my absolute FAVORITE movies. If you don’t know what “bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils” are then get on Netflix NOW. You have missed out for far too long.

– This painting.

Peter Ellenshaw, “Winnie the Pooh Autumn Leaves”

– I light candles in the newly darker evenings & that always makes me feel cozy & at home

– I also like to re-read some of the Harry Potter books this time of year, Harry & Halloween just go together & those books never get old.

– Most of all, I love fall because it means the craziness of summer is over, the frantic traveling between here & there is over and I can finally just be home. it’s simple but it is one of my chief joys.

To quote John Milton (author of Paradise Lost & a serious genius)

“The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven” (Book 1, l. 253-55)

Maybe my heaven of school would have been your personal hell, or perhaps fall is your least favorite season because glorious summer is over. The point is that change comes to everything, endings come and traditions disappear.  But our minds can see good even in semester-less falls, new heavens can be lurking where we never could have imagined them before.

(an actual photo from last semester in the library with my semester-long companions)

Is this fall different for you in some way?

What are some of your favorite fall treats?

Molly Keating
Molly Keating
Molly grew up in and around funeral homes her entire life. In 2009 she began working for O'Connor Mortuary and found a bridge between her passion for writing and her interest in grief and bereavement. In 2016 she earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. She is honored to be able to write about these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective.


  1. Ms. Fran Cantor says:

    Dear Molly,

    It has been awhile because your Blog did not accept my e-mail and that is why I had to called you. Sorry.
    So proud of you to have receive your (Master Degree) congratulation. You have a full future ahead of
    you. When you mention the Fall Season, it put a smile on my Face. Memories of my days in winter
    wonderland in “CHICAGO” Burrrrr. Snow, Snow Making Snow Ball fights, Making Angel, Snowman.
    The Holidays are the best Turkey Dinners with a large Family. XMAS!! TREE My Dad had to have the
    Tree perfect every TINSEL had to hung one by one at a time, don’t throw it in the TREE but it did look
    Beautiful. I do hope someday you will have the Holidays in the Snow. You would love it!!! Playing in
    the snow. We also did Ice skating in the Park after school when the lagoon would freeze. Oh Yeah!!!!!

    So you see what you have done to me thinking of all the wonderful things I did as a Child. There was
    an actor call “Bing Crosby” would sing “THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES” Soooooo ” THANKS FOR
    SHARING your Memories. Blessing to you. For your warm “HEART” +

    As Always,


    • Molly says:

      I’m sorry your experienced trouble with the comments – it was a techy thing that we’ve since sorted out & I’m thrilled to hear from you again!

      What a beautiful bunch of stories you have to share! I can only imagine the magic that snow brings to a holiday landscape. I love going to Disneyland during Christmas & seeing the Southern California version of “snow” on Main street.

      I’m so happy that I could give you cause to reminisce & think of your dear father & how he wanted everything to be just perfect for you. What beautiful memories.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Sharon Watkins says:

    Last Fall was a first for me in South Orange County. I grew up in Glendale, CA – spent many years in the Phoenix, AZ valley and then have been in Sunset Beach for the last 10 years. I had no idea the Fall beauty that came to this part of the State until a year ago. I found a new favorite spot in Laguna Woods Village along the side of Aliso Creek.

    I moved into my 6 month temporary home October 1st. I immediately went out walking in search of new sites in a place that felt like the mountains to me. I felt like I had gone from the beauties of the ocean and beaches of North County to the beauties of hills and greenery of South County – they are so very different kinds of beauty!

    The leaves on all the variety of trees along the creek were just beginning to turn colors and each day as I would take my morning walk it was fun to see the differences and changes. It seemed to just get more incredibly beautiful with each passing day. Just as I would think it couldn’t get any better, the morning light would highlight a new scene for me and I would fall in love all over again with the beauties of nature.

    Someday I would love to take you to my favorite spot. There is a small plaque there stating that this AMAZING tree in front of the plaque is estimated to have come into existence about the time the pilgrims landed in America!!! It is the most amazing tree I have ever seen and the PERFECT climbing tree for any kid or adult! I couldn’t resist climbing among it branches…..if only trees could talk! My goodness this one would surely have stories upon stories to tell of the many Fall seasons of change it had seen. So come along – I’d love to show you! It is the perfect time of year to really appreciate this wonderful sight!

    I have a hard time deciding if I love the Fall season or the Spring season better. They both excite my senses in different ways and for different reasons.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us once again. I always enjoy your posts.


    • Molly says:

      How lovely! It’s so sweet to have familiar spots to visit & note as the seasons change them. Trees are our best testaments to the changes taking place around us & I love that they communicate in color!
      Finding beauty in new places can sometime seem hard when we are longing for the past or what we are familiar with. I applaud your embrace of your new home & the new forms of beauty that you now get to treasure.
      Thank you so much for sharing – I’d love to see that tree!

  3. amy says:

    We share the same love for Disneyland. This time of year is my absolute favorite. With all the holiday decorations for Halloween and Christmas, the crisp air and yummy hot chocolate. My girls and I look forward to it each year.
    Thanks for always painting such a beautiful picture with your words of wisdom.

    • Molly says:

      I just can’t get enough of Disneyland, I could probably visit everyday and still feel that way. I know Walt said something to the effect of “give them more than they can see and they’ll keep coming back for more” – and boy oh boy do they! The nostalgia and – there really is no other word for it – Magic of that place is intoxicating.
      I hope you get to visit soon & have that perfect enchanted evening with your girls. Thanks so much for reading & sharing!

  4. Mark says:

    Molly…..I liked the fact that your article reminded me of two things that I like: Disneyland and the movie”You’ve Got Mail”…..thanks, Mark

    • Molly says:

      Thank you so much for reading! I would never have guessed that we shared a love of that movie! Glad I could remind you of happy places & things. I hope you can go to them often.


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