The poets say Bleak. I don’t.

I read a line somewhere the other day that said “November sneaks up on you”. It totally does. Just a like a simple and effective logo, a simple yet true observation never ceases to amaze and, in some cases, amuse me. I love it when someone just hits the nail on the proverbial head. Just about a week and a half ago, the leaves seemed at their brightest and most brilliant, whirling through the air like the opening scenes of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. Poor Linus getting his lollipop all covered in brown leaves. New England was at its finest and giving one of it’s glorious performances. And now, those leaves are gone, save a few that are managing to keep their grip on the graying branches. The skies have that true November look…steely gray with long swashes of clouds stretching across the cold sky. Grays, deep blues, russets surround us.

Who flicked the switch?

Supposedly, we might even be seeing our first flakes this week, too (First snow! First snow! she shouts, like an 8-year old bouncing on the bed).Winter is arriving, I dare say. I went looking, out of curiosity, for some November poetry and I had to chuckle at what I found. Bleak: that seems to be the theme for November per the poets. Gray, austere, crunching crisp leaves, quiet. This poem (below) in particular had me laughing out loud because it just seemed like ol’ Mr. Hood was having the worst day when he wrote this.

November by Thomas Hood (1789-1845)

No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –

We’ve all had those days. I guess his was in November. Mr. Hood was correct in his observations, though, but I will disagree with the assertion that there is no warmth or comfort. There is so much talk these days about eating seasonally, but how about acting seasonally? The physical world at this time is curling into itself and taking shelter. Powering down, if you can use a technological term to describe Mama Nature.  I’m sure the cave men did it way-back-when and the pioneers, too out of sheer necessity of survival..go inside, stay warm, hunker down. Maybe we should try it. Focus inward. Take signals from the earlier hours of darkness and the cold winds and quiet ourselves a bit for the coming months. Let the creative juices stew and renew. Be at home in our own thoughts and cozy in our spaces…explore the “in” of us.
Doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend the next handful of months. Figuring yourself out? That’s pretty far from bleak, if you ask me.

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