• May 26, 2024


Sarah O’Malley

September may be when fall begins, but October is when autumn happens. Temperatures finally drop, pumpkins cover porches and farmer’s markets, and leaves let go of their waking life in the sun, falling to the ground, asleep.

Call it the romanticism of Taylor Swift season, or how a crisp chill clears one’s mind, but October is a time for change. Whatever was is left behind in exchange for what is—new jobs, relationships, homes, and shades of ourselves. In this way, all “change” is also “leaving.” We leave what came before in our shadow; turning to face west puts the east at our back.

Yet, the beauty of growth, hibernation, and the rhythm of the seasons is that, even when we leave everything behind, it makes us, and all comes with us in the end.

Last week, I moved from DC, where I have lived my entire life, to Portland, Oregon in the hopes of finding something in me I haven’t yet known. This playlist is dedicated to my older sister, who has taught me bravery my entire life, drove me across the country, and played me Tom Waits at a gas station an hour outside of my new home.

This month, let “Leaving” take you on a journey of swell and release, like the gusts of wind that rattle the trees bare. Listen in order (and don’t skip) songs for leaving in the season of leaves.

Editor’s Note

Take a seat, pour a drink, turn shuffle off and hit play. Our BitterSweet playlists are for listening. Not background playing, ideally. There are so few invitations and avenues for unhurried, undistracted listening in our world. Give yourself an hour with this playlist to appreciate where we are right now—thinking little about where we’ve been or where we’re headed. Enjoy.

Ps. A little protip for Spotify users. I find the abrupt ends and silence between songs to be a bit distracting. The break often yanks me out of the space the music collection is working to create. If you agree, try this. Go to “Settings” on your Spotify desktop or mobile app. Scroll down to find the “Playback” settings, and set the “Crossfade Songs” slider to at least 8 seconds. Now your songs will flow seamlessly from one to the other.

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