Before it’s over I wanted to stick up for this month in which we still find ourselves. It was way back at November’s start that I made a last-minute dash to the supermarket and passed a house entirely decorated for the glow-fest known as The Holidays.
I have to admit my heart sank at the sight. “What about November?” I yelled, though I was totally alone in my car.
What I meant was, “How did we go from Halloween’s wild and jokey motifs straight to reindeer and snowmen, without giving November her rightful moment on the stage?”
Because November has a beauty all her own.
Maybe it’s dark as you read this. If so, close your eyes and picture what lies just outside your window:
- The branches of the bare trees that make of the sky a span of leaded glass.
- The leaves that still do cling to the trees dressed now in muted shades of bronze and copper.
- The green of the grass that, somewhere in the last ten weeks, woke up from its heat-flattened August swoon and returned to the party, looking as fresh and springy as the grass of April.
Only it isn’t April. The grass knows it. We know it. Every living thing knows that one day soon we will wake to find that a hard frost has taken hold of the earth. Then, our long hibernation will have begun.
And that’s fine. It’s fine that winter comes each year. It’s fine too that the soil locks down tight and the temperatures dip so low they make your very fillings.
It’s fine because when winter comes it will bring us winter joys. We will make more stews. We will gather around the hearth, even if that hearth is just one of those nice fat candles that burns for hours. Heck, if we haven’t forgotten how, maybe we will do what they used to call “entertaining” and ask some friends over for a visit.
We have a good 14 weeks of such pleasures ahead, all of which will be ushered in by these bulbs and snowmen and reindeer that I was so surprised to see in the days just after Halloween.
I am more ready to see them now, though, and for sure I am seeing more of them every day on my route to the grocer’s. It was just that it hurt to think of November’s muted beauty going uncelebrated.
November feels to me like that quiet guest at a social gathering who draws no attention to herself and so maintains a silent presence at the edge of things. I guess I just kept thinking: if I were that guest, wouldn’t I want somebody to come over with a smile and greet me too?