October

Growing up, everyone I knew and loved lived in such close proximity. I knew that Baba and Dido’s families were in Ukraine, but my people were never far away. Now it’s so very different. The world is smaller in many ways, and our circles are larger to include beloved friends and family across the country and over the ocean.

12182601_10206251093530217_4899569065728051142_oI wish I could see them more often, but I am grateful for online glimpses and treasured times when we do reconnect. Ultimately my world is richer for those connections.

My friend Alison and I met in Germany 13 years ago when we were each pregnant with our first child, and she was family from the start. We’ve stayed in touch through ups and downs and moves back and forth across oceans. Our kids have grown up together, sharing the occasional holiday. Some of my favorite Thanksgivings have been spent with them.

Alison came for a too-short visit that was mostly coffee and chats squeezed in around kid schedules and teaching, but we did have one night where I was able to give her a taste of Chicago’s stand-up and burlesque, Gypsy jazz at the Green Mill, and some of the best Ethiopian food (mmmmm). And just like that, she’s back across the ocean and life goes one. The wheel turns.

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Am thinking of you, so many people I love who are too far away and those who are gone from us too soon. I suppose it’s one of the gifts of October and Autumn and Halloween/Samhain–missing loved ones, sitting with nostalgia and longing as we prepare for the season to change.

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya.

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