For the love of November

I love November but it seems all too short. I feel like we lose the first few days in the aftermath of Halloween as if the energy put into the holiday robs us of them. Then we ramp up to Thanksgiving, followed by the aptly named Black Friday, that dubious exercise we’ve fooled ourselves into believing will a) stimulate the economy, and b) provide us the best sale prices EVER. (Wait a week or two, they will get even sales-ier.)

In the blink of an eye, we’ve jettisoned November like a bad cup of coffee we couldn’t wait to finish but desperately needed to get through to reach “the holidays”. Bye November.

I want to savor November. I love the way the word feels in my mouth. It’s the only month with a v in it; it lends it a resonance, our teeth humming just inside our bottom lip rolling into that deep emmm then the “ber”. I know you’re saying it right now.

Living on the east coast and having lived in New England for many years, I appreciate the variety of temperate days, a few rainy ones, sometimes a morning frost, and many clear, crisp days where the colors of autumn seem to jump off the trees. And the smells. The leaves, or more correctly the process of their decomposition, create the earthy, musty, fungal, harvest smells I associate with the waning days of autumn. They are complemented by the occasional smell of burning leaves or a far-off wood stove, evoking visions of quiet nights settling in with a dog and a good book, maybe a family member or two: definitely at least one dog.

Please remember November, enjoy it, honor it, savor it. Between the sugar fest of Halloween and the food fest that is Thanksgiving, appreciate the smell as you take the first deep breath when you go outside. Take an afternoon walk and look up at the trees and the sky. On the best days, the sky is so blue, the name of the color does not do it justice. The next events on the calendar will wait for you; they like November too.

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