Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November 5th, 2011

It’s quite a few years back that I saw, in Reader’s Digest’s “Toward More Picturesque Speech,” something that ran along these lines:

“No sun, no flowers, no warmth, no leaves, no grass, no daylight — No-vember!”  Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

And yet…

Maybe it’s because I live on a Main Street, which means we get a lot of traffic through here.  And maybe it’s because of the biker bar down the street from where I live, so that all summer long we have motorbikes roaring through here at full throttle.  Maybe it’s the fact that a busy State road is less than a quarter mile away, just down the hill.  But I find that as I grow older, November has grown on me.

My favorite month used to be October, with its riot of colorful leaves; there’s something so exuberant about October.  Even on a rainy day, there’s a vibrancy about October — the leaves seem to glow even brighter when they’re wet.  By November, that’s pretty much history; most of the deciduous trees are bare, and those that are not, have leaves well past their prime, sad remnants clinging to the last dregs of dear life; sort of, “nursing-home leaves.”

But as I said, November has grown on me.  I like its quiet.  I like the way things seem to be settling down for a long nap.  The frenetic and eponymous Holidays are already trying to push their way into our consciousness, but they are comfortably far off enough that we can ignore the attempt for at least a couple more weeks.  November has its own rhythms, its own chores, its own demands:

Clean the garden tools, give the grass one last mow before it snows (something we actually didn’t have a chance to do this year, as a freak snowstorm blanketed all of New England), clip the hedge one last time.  Arrange to have the trees pruned.  Check the garden one last time for any stray root vegetables that we may have missed.  Rake the last of the leaves and pile them into the garden for mulch.

And oh, all right, start making out gift lists for Christmas.  Might as well.  That’s my chore, anyway — all that garden stuff belongs to the hubster, whose enviable green thumb is responsible for all the outdoor chores that get dumped on him.  Besides, he loves being out of doors.  I don’t.  Woman-like, I enjoy buying gifts for my family.  I enjoy it even more since the advent of online shopping; I’ve never been a crowd person.

And then there are the other delights of November.  “No light” means that we draw the curtains earlier, eat supper earlier, have more time to read, knit, or whatever.  Nothing else clamors for attention.  I can spend a good part of my day preparing the savory soups and stews that I love to make, that have no place in the summer; who wants to eat hot food in the summer?!  Summer’s bounty is stored or given away to our neighbors; now we all hunker down to enjoy the fruits of one another’s labors, as well as those of our own.

The Aran sweater I abandoned after May is calling me to finish it.  Pumpkin spice coffee is brewing.  National Novel Writing Month beckons.  (Not this year; I’m clean out of ideas at the moment, but there’s always next year.)  With it, too, November brings the memory of “Allerheiligen” and “Allerseligen,” All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, celebrated in the West on the first and second of November.  There’s just something about November that is consonant with remembering “those who have fallen asleep.”

Thank God for November.

Read Full Post »