“Raise a song of harvest home! All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin;”
I am keenly aware that I am the girl who waits impatiently for the arrival of summer, the one who can get a bit complain-y about April showers, and who frantically tries to wring the last bit of daylight out of summer’s end. Yes, it’s true–I have Pinterest boards devoted to images of sunnier climes, things that grow in those warm dryer places, and food to eat while basking in all of that summer sun. The mere sight of a warm stucco wall with a bougainvillea vine trailing over it can keep me happy all day!
On the plus side though, and one of my attributes, is that I don’t hold grudges. When the last of one season is undeniably packed up and put away, I fall in love with the next, which at the moment, is mid-autumn. In the early part of autumn, I can still persuade myself into believing that there’s still some drops of summer remaining. The sun pours warmly onto the patio more days than not, there is still the pungency of basil and tomatoes in the air, the house wine continues to be crisp and white, and we spend more time outside than the dog does.
It’s not early autumn any longer…not by a long-shot! But at the moment, I am so enthralled with November that I’m not even missing July or August one little bit. (Talk to me in February or March though—I’ll have had a change of heart by then…)
I’ve been thinking a great deal the last day or so about just what it is that makes this time seem so sweet. What came to mind was this; for me, this part of the season has a tangible peace and beauty that makes me want to stop and drink it all in…just sit for a moment and absorb everything around me until my mind and heart and soul all feel full.
In November, ‘life’ is quieter. All of the busyness of the garden, the comings and goings of the household, all of the ‘doing’ that comprises the long hours of shining sun and balmy air—all of that stops. The birds are quiet—there is no finch or sparrow song, the juncos make only their tiny ‘chit-chit’ sound as they feed, the red-wing blackbirds are gone, and the robins haven’t arrived—there is only the sound of the wild geese as they fly over each day.
There is little traffic going by on the way to the river, and everyone is driven indoors by the rain. All of the sounds of summer have given way to a different pitch and rhythm—the pop and snap of the logs in the fire place, the hum of the occasional helicopter as it lifts the harvest of Christmas trees out of the surrounding hills, the simmer of soups and sauces on the stove, and rain. Rain as it patters on the last of the jewel-toned leaves. Rain as it blows into the stove vent, sounding like little pebbles pinging against the metal pipe. Rain as it shimmers down the windows in torrents, blown by the storms coming in from the Cascade Mountains in the east, or the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Now I am no longer distracted with the outside chores. Nothing but the citrus in the greenhouse needs watering. Any weeding that didn’t get done will have to wait. There are no projects to do, nothing to plant, and nothing to prune. Anything I didn’t finish (or get to start) will be there when spring comes.
Yes, I do love summer, but there is so much to love about November as well!
I love that there is still indescribable color everywhere, and how it shines in such bright contrast against the rainy-grey softness of the landscape.
I love that there is time for reading, knitting, cooking and baking.
I love filling the bird-feeders and watching the chickadees and finches stuffing themselves on sunflower seed, while the juncos and ring neck doves clean up below them.
I love playing board games and cracking nuts in front of the fireplace, and watching football and basketball on the television with my husband.
I love thinking about the approaching holidays with the home-comings of family and the gatherings of friends.
While I am continually working at wearing gratitude as a lifestyle, and not confining it to just one month of the year, November does seem a good time to be still, and really soak in—no, revel in—all of the beautiful, wonderful, life that surrounds me. I am blessed, and hoping that all of you—my beautiful, wonderful, friends—are too.
Thank you so much for visiting! Happy November…