Scarlet leaves are falling on the once green grass, a strand of perfect rubies broken and loosened by time, they tumble down one after the other, holding veined hands with the wind. They shall rest on the dappled floor of the garden, to fade into nothingness, turn into memory, leaving behind sweet bits of their spirits to nourish the green that will bloom in their wake.
We turned all the clocks back late last night, once again granting the darkness greater dominion over all the long hours that make up our day.
November is unpacking his cases and settling in.
And so begins the conclusion of the year.
So often the poet writes about death when he considers the month of November. William Morris spoke of this month as the “Bright sign of loneliness too great for me, Strange image of the dread eternity”, whilst Baudelaire wrote of the upcoming winter as the season of “derision, hate, shuddering, horror, drudgery and vice” a time when he would be “exiled, like the sun, to a polar prison, My soul will harden into a block of red ice.”
A bleak picture indeed.
I do clearly see the illustration painted by nature, I just suppose I read it differently than some. To me November is a frankly delightful time, a thirty day gift all wrapped up in gold and kindly offered for introspection and preparation. My mind fairly glows with ideas that seem to sparkle best in the early, frost rimmed darkness - jigsaws of notions that now find the time to coalesce into colourful blueprints for the days to come.... intricate tapestries of Thanksgiving ambrosias, Christmas adornments, abundant new spring gardens. If, on a cold, windy night, you have ever curled up in a nest of a chair by the fire, with a mug of hot tea, and an enticing seed catalog or an opulent travel brochure, well you will know what I mean. Of all the months in the kaleidoscopic year, November offers the coziest atmosphere for plotting the most adventurous schemes and strategies.
In the metaphorical searchlight of deeper meaning, I can only hope that my affection for this season remains as I continue my journey through this, the great year of my life. I should like to think when all those days that are mine dwindle down, I shall still be found in my chair by the fire, absorbed in a pleasant contemplation of the grand odyssey to come.
Painting by Atkinson Grimshaw