Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Appreciating November

This is the part of the year when I always want to stop time.

Where’s the pause button?, I find myself asking as I look out the window at the bare gray tree branches and the lawn carpeted with brown leaves.

This isn’t about apprehension over the oncoming holidays. I like all the oncoming holidays, and I like most of the rituals and festivities associated with them, and the ones I don’t like, I try to avoid.

No, my wish to stand still, right in this one spot in mid-November, is just about needing a little more time to savor one of the very best parts of the year. The air is dry and cool: perfect for long runs.  The frigid temperatures haven’t yet descended; nor have the snow and ice.  Cold weather in the forecast means merely to turn the heat up a little, not to expect another blizzard.

And the natural world around us is just so beautiful at this time of year. The golden hayfields. The blue sky. The variegated browns and whites of the tree trunks and branches. It’s not magnificent, like the October foliage colors, nor breathtaking, like a new snowfall. Its beauty comes from its simplicity.

True, the air is growing steadily colder and the sunlight hours ever shorter. I don’t mean to suggest I’d want to live in this exact season all year round. I’d miss both the intense heat of summer and the intense cold of winter. I’d miss the smell of damp earth from the spring and the warm Indian summer afternoons of October.

But this part goes by too quickly. Once Thanksgiving is past, it starts to feel like winter and like the holiday season, both of which are appealing in their own way but also busy and noisy and demanding.

November is such a quiet time. The earth is so still and quiet and seems to demand so little right now, as the ground freezes over and growing ceases.

It’s time for cocooning and preparing for winter. Then after that, more beautiful seasons. But for now, it’s November, and nothing could be more beautiful than this.

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