Lois Lowry's Blog
When my younger daughter was quite young—five perhaps, or six—she had an imaginary friend named October. No one was allowed to scoff at that, or to make jokes; October was a very serous presence in our lives for a time. I think we sometimes even set a place at the table for her.
October was the month of my daughter's birthday so perhaps that gave the word special import in her imagination and in the naming of that unseen companion.
And no question: October is a very special month, more so in New England.
I'm in Maine at the moment. I drove up here yesterday and will be here for a few days tending to pre-winter chores. And in the month since I was last here, things have changed. It is quieter now. Tourists are gone. Colors are fading (soon to erupt in foliage, but not yet); the reeds in swampy areas along the lake have turned brown. No chirping birds in the early morning. My meadow has been mowed by Dave, who does it each fall, and so the tall grass and wildflowers are gone for another season.
But one thing has burst into its end-of-season magnificence. My son Ben begins morning glories every summer from seed, then plants the seedlings beside the porch at the farm;and all summer we watch the spindly plants move slowly upward, entwining themselves along the strings that Ben has placed, framing the hummingbird feeder eventually....but never quite bursting into luxurious growth and bloom until the very end of their season. Here they are now—in this picture the blossoms folded because of rain—at their height, when almost everything else is withdrawing and fading.
Behind them, through the porch screen, you can see a piece of the brand new window frames stored there temporarily. Mark Harmon is about to install new windows in my kitchen, replacing the old ones that never closed tightly enough for winter, and whose frames were beginning to rot. These had to be specially made because I wanted wood frames...most people are using (what would the word be? Surely not plastic. But synthetic, anyway; polyurethane, or something)...and that would be easier maintainance, of course. But on a house built in 1768? I think not.
So these window frames will someday rot, as well, but I will be long gone and rotting myself, by then.
I have brought work with me, the final final revisions of the book that is now titled SON. And this is just the place (an isolated hillside) and time (quiet October) to do this last bit.