October can be an idyllic month, bringing to mind images of crisp apple cider, hand-carved jack o’ lanterns on porches and colorful piles of fallen leaves. These hallmarks of autumn certainly fit with this month’s mood – nested – as they evoke feelings of coziness, of enjoying these seasonal pleasures in the comfort of a safe and warm home. However, this is a privilege that unfortunately not all have. Hundreds of thousands in the U.S. alone still experience homelessness, a situation only exacerbated as frigid temperatures set in.
As we remain aware and grateful for those of us fortunate to have the comfort of a home, we can take action to help those in search of it. Advocacy and volunteer work are just some of the ways to provide shelter to others. The mood of “nested” calls for supporting those in need of a comfortable and safe place to live, and every effort, large or small, can make a difference.
Gathering around a hot meal with friends and family is a perfect way to create a cozy evening and nesting experience. Think hygge, a Danish concept referring to creating a cosy and convivial atmosphere that promotes wellbeing. October wouldn’t be complete without some pumpkin dishes, and Recipe Runner’s Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup is a perfectly festive meal starter. Its blend of sweet and savory flavors is guaranteed to warm up the coldest of days and please any palate. Food52’s Home’s Mac and Cheese with Smoked Paprika is a classic comfort food given a flavorful fall twist by the paprika and makes for a delectable main dish. To end on a sweet note, there’s Barefoot Contessa’s Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream. It gives an extra kick to a fan favorite that you might just want to bring back for Thanksgiving in November, too.
October is chock-full of time for both celebration and reflection. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with that comes plenty of walks, educational programs and other ways to provide support for those suffering from the illness and those working to cure it. LGBT History Month is also celebrated in October, providing an opportunity to learn more about the community and how to welcome and accept its members, especially on National Coming Out Day (October 11) as many share their stories and their journeys with their loved ones and the world. The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which focuses on atonement and repentance, is celebrated on October 8th. October 14th is Indigenous People’s Day, dedicated to remembering the history of those who originally cultivated the land we now call home. Halloween (October 31) ends the month on a note of sweetness and costumed fun, and the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead begins on this day to celebrate deceased family members and their journey beyond earthly life.
This month calls upon us to actively reach out to any friends, family, and strangers in need of a welcoming hand. It’s about ensuring that through a place or a person, everyone has a chance to feel nested.
Photo courtesy of timothy-eberly-yui at unsplash