“There is October in every November and there is November in every December. All seasons melted in each other’s life”
(Mehmet Murat ildan)
It’s the first week of November as I write this. Temperatures have dipped to the freezing point and a hint of snow is in the air. I look out through our front door with shock and disbelief at our uncut front lawn, covered in October leaves. Our backyard looks no better! Fall camping chairs sit forlornly around the fall campfire pit, our pond partially iced over, fall mums still unplanted in the ground, while Christmas lights and an indoor tree shine from a neighbouring house: October~November~December.
Ouch! I’m not ready!
I used to dread November: The abrupt end to Fall, shortened daylight hours, the end of golf season-dismal, wet, cold and of course, Remembrance Day, and its solemn painful reminder of sacrifice and loss.
This year I feel something different. The quote to start this brief Blog got me thinking. November need not be so bad. It's a bridge - one of many, from October to December, from fall to winter, from one season to the next, from one phase of life to another, from what was, to what is to come. So much for the four distinct seasons of Canada! Bring on November, a ‘seasonal’ month of transition.
Apply that to our lives. We are often made to feel that celebrations and sorrows, endings and beginnings, accomplishments and failures, have to be compartmentalized into distinct time periods. We have 3 days to grieve and then we need to return to work. We celebrate a special occasion in our life, and now it’s time to blow out the candles and face the next day. We graduate from school and then our learning is done. We remember the war dead and survivors for an hour, then wait until next November 11th to do it again.
Who says we have to compartmentalize one season from another? We are at our best and most human when we carry and integrate one experience to the next, one season to another. Loss and new life, endings and beginnings, failures and accomplishments, joys and sorrows - ”all melted into another.” One writer describes the process of grief as carrying the memory of a deceased loved one from one time zone to the next, from past to present to future.
October~ November~ December. I think I’m a ‘converted’ November person. In the meantime, I need to find my leaf rake and snow shovel! How about you?
Let’s celebrate the remaining days of November!