Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November elegy

I wish November could last forever.

But then, almost every year I wish November, or at least the first two weeks of it, could last forever.

This month in particular, though, it’s increasingly obvious that we are in the midst of the most perfect few weeks of the whole year. October impresses with warm days and blazing colors, but in November, the pale gold sunlight streams through the bare branches and slants across the burnished dying grass on the fields. Mild days like we’ve had this week seem like a remarkable gift this late in the season, especially after the snowstorm with which October ended. I’ve gone running in temperatures in the mid-50’s the past few mornings, and it seems like such an unexpected bonus.

This is a quiet time of year, a time for in-gathering. Fall sports are wrapping up. The school year is well under way; the kids are comfortably established in their classroom routines, but it’s still too early for major projects or productions. The report cards, conferences and concerts that mark the end of a term are still several weeks away.

And just as far away, mercifully, are the holidays. Well, not quite. Thanksgiving is next week, and I should already be planning the menu and table settings, but it feels like even that can wait a few more days, maybe ‘til the weekend. As for Christmas and New Year’s festivities, I won’t even think about that until we’ve finished cleaning up the kitchen after Thanksgiving dinner.

This is a quiet week. I’m immersed in work and community events, and fitting in as much time outdoors as I can while the weather is still so mild. With the early sunsets, the filtered November daylight seems all the more vital.

Next week, I’ll start thinking about Thanksgiving, and then figuring out the December schedule with all its parties and events, and then Christmas itself. This week, I’m just savoring the quiet and peace and beautiful days of mid-November.

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