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October’s Song

I originally wrote this on a rainy, warm day several years ago. It was a hard rain, but still 18 Cin Edmonton. Despite the warmth, we had a forecast of wet snow and coolling temperatures for that evening. In Alberta at this time of year, things can change weather-wise quite suddenly.

The forecast is for above-average temperatures for another week. Even then, it is not cooling appreciably. Instead, we will have rain as a possibility.  Most trees still have an abundance of leaves, although they are turning colours.

In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving as crops are harvested and stored by mid-October. It is not a sure thing, but that is the premise. The agrarian roots of Canada are deep, so the tradition of an October Thanksgiving remains.

Nature singing,


Painting the world anew.

Harvest gathering.,

Storing bounty–

Hearth calling.


Joining hands;

Bowing heads.

October arriving,

Thanking, sharing, celebrating–

Readying for winter’s respite.



I took this picture in Fairmount Hot Springs a couple of years ago. It was Thanksgiving weekend and it snowed on our way back. You can see the colours have changed in the distance and the mist over Columbia Lake.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

14 responses »

  1. Thank you for all the Likes you have left on my posts. I love this post of yours since I don’t understand Canadian weather and how you have much growing time. Thank you, too, for all you do for education. I’ve been in ed for 52 years — teacher, administrator, trainer, state dept. consultant to High Priority schools. We need you. We need your innovation and creativity. Thanks for all you do.

    • Thank you Bert and Rusha. Canadian weather varies depending on where one lives. Even in Alberta, the growing season in Edmonton is different than the one I experienced 4-5 hours further north.

      You are welcome and thank you for sharing insights into your journeys.

  2. Thanks for the information on your Canadian Thanksgiving. I didn’t realize it was on a Monday in October. The gypsy in me is always interested in learning about where other people live and their surroundings. Maybe on Thanksgiving, you can write a poem about what you and your family do that day. Enjoy hearing about traditions.

    • Thank you for the suggestion Bev. I am unsure about the roots of our Thanksgiving. It is not as well-defined. In Western Canada, it fits with the agrarian base of early European settlers. Also, it fits with the Indigenous ways of life. Edmonton was/is a resting place for Indigenous peoples. They arrived here and stayed for the winter. The area and river provided for them.

  3. Always a pleasure to read your fine writing.

  4. Beautiful and refreshing. Surely needed a boost. Thanks.

  5. Lovely.
    Lovely, your poem. But I’ll always associate ‘October Song’ with the Incredible String band. Though the story that sticks in my mind is that the lyrics were apparently written by Harry Owen, a truly amazing Scottish poet I knew in Munich, when he played a part in a Volker Schlondorff film (Die Armen Leute von Krumbach) I did still photography for. Harry sadly died through suicide in the 60s, heartbroken from a romantic breakup in Scotland, and prevented from returning there because he had lost his passport and felt he was nobody..
    Re: the song, I once met Robin Williamson at a small concert and mentioned Harry. He adamantly denied Harry’s claim to the remarkable words of October Song, but the emotional pitch of his voice hinted at some hidden truth. Sad story, I know.

    • Thank you for the wonderful story and memories of what sounds like a wonderful relationship. The sad part is Harry felt he was nobody. We should each be someone to someone. It is what keeps us going.

      Despite the sad elements, your story has the happiness of good memories. When i think of those gone, it is both wistful and joyous as I recall moments of true love and happiness we shared.

      Take care Ashen.

  6. October… my favorite month… magic in the air… jc


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