Sunday, November 04, 2012

November is so transparent

Just before Super Sandy huffed and puffed and blew the rest of the leaves down.

And unexpectedly beautiful with her 50 shades of brown, tucked in so neatly under the puffy, thick, gray quilt of sky.

And she's well put together. Her dried up gray milk pods are the same color as the sky.

The beauty of the  bare silver birch trees reflected on the surface of the dark pond takes you by surprise. As does the patchwork pattern of brown on purple, purple on brown, across the surrounding hillsides, defiantly proving that even impending death, complete dormancy, can be beautiful.

November hides nothing. How could she when she's been stripped totally bare naked. Down to bark and pulp. 

And she makes no promises. She knows better. She knows she is pretty much the end of the line. Just one more month to go behind her before it all starts over again.

I never thought I would say this, especially after the frighteningly listless past few weeks I've had, but I am actually looking forward to seeing, feeling, what kind of cosmic shift November brings.

I use this new-age language, not my mother tongue, because the shift is already happening. 

November 1st was a hellish, snot-infested, all-over body aches and chills, generally depressing affair, complete with an uninsured dentist appointment where I learned I need to have a crown replaced. (I've been ignoring my broken tooth for months.)

 A crown. For the whopping price of, yep, you guessed it, just about the total that Christmas was going to cost back before I learned Christmas might not be coming this year. Well, not the kind of Christmas my kids are hoping for, the kind with beaucoup presents.

Sorry kids, I'll say, flashing them my shiny new gold crown, mommy was the only one to get anything sparkly this year. I'm exaggerating, kind of, but if anyone had told me I would one day, in my mid forties, shudder with financial terror at the thought of an unexpected dental procedure, I'd have ignored them.

"Oh don't be such a pessimist,"I would think. "There will always be money. Right."

Maybe not. But, despite the inauspicious start to a normally inauspicious  month, each new day of November, and its decided "here we go folks, you didn't actually think we could skip this part, did you?" air, has seen my spirits rise, and lift, and, as of today, practically levitate on a breeze of annoying positivity.

The whole world around me is dead or dying, dried up leaves, skeleton bone trees, crispy grass, not a soul on the street, and definitely not enough money in the bank, yet I am filled, at least today, with that sort of calm self assurance that all is as it should be.

There will be a father in this house, unlike last November that saw us pining pitifully. There will be wood for the fire. There will be less driving around, chasing the frivolous daylight. There will be more layers, and wool and socks, I'm finally ready to accept the reality of socks. There will be more family time. There will be cabin fever, the kind which inspires creativity and hones our dealing with boredom skills.

And, if we know what is good for us, there will be a certain amount of austerity.

And, I'm hoping and guessing, but not promising, there will be more time to write.

I'll leave it at that, for now.

I've got a feeling this chair will see a lot of action in the coming days.


Anonymous said...

Love the warm & lovely livingroom pic.I relate very much to the anxiety of waving off summertime, barefeet, warm breezes & sunshine ect. I'm already pining for spring. I do, however, try to see the good of November simply because of my children & the not wanting to wish their days by.The thought of xmas gets more stressful with every year to the point my mom jokingly calls me a "scrooge". The spending, pressure to shop & resulting clutter & gets me down so I strive to put on a happy face for the kiddos with it, as well. Nice to hear your spirits are up, cheers to many good days ahead.

Kathleen Trail said...

This piece is breathtaking, both in it's ability to evoke the visceral beauty of the crumbling season and in finding such warmth and hope beyond current circumstances.

Sue Kol said...

Poetry in prose. That's what it feels like. Beautiful as always.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Betsy!

Anonymous said...

This is EXACTLY how things are/feel around here too. Usually I cling to that last moment of summer and pine for its warmth, but this year is different. Lots of life changes here and the start of hibernation season is most welcoming. Thanks for stating it so eloquently once again. -Mizzee

Kip said...

Fall is the absolute best. I keep pointing out this beautiful color in the remaining leaves or the sound of crunching leaves to my kids, hoping they catch my fall fever.

When I was young I had a book that had this poem from 19th century poet Thomas Hood: ‘No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! November!’

I remember and recite it all month long every year. It's supposed to be a complaint, but I don't mind. I just make soup.

Betsy said...

My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise
Robert Frost

Liliana Holtzman said...

A perfect reading chair!

Anonymous said...

Lovely Betsy!

Your living room looks soooo cozy!

I´m a Spring/Summer fan and wear sandles and fancy flip-flops in 32F weather (with a coat, gloves and hat, of course!). Life is too short and I love sandles (and perfume).

If we were rich, ha!, we would live on the equator with a nice, breezy 85 degrees year-round. KFB from BCN.

Robin said...

I have a funny relationship with November, because it's the month of my birth, and its grayness and chilliness and so on just don't seem like me. But somehow it's still my month. And it's a big birthday this year: 40. I'm not sure what I'm getting at here, but your words and the Frost poem made me realize that November doesn't feel that gray to me underneath, if that makes sense.

Betsy said...

Robin: It does make sense because that is exactly what I was trying to say. November's treasures are overlooked. And, having a November baby myself, Isla's birthday is tomorrow, I have needed to learn to like, at least stop verbally disresprecting, November. If it could bring a child as lovely and breezy and fun as my Isla, it's a beautiful month. Happy birthday!

Robin said...

Betsy, Thanks so much for your birthday wishes, and even though I've been reading you on BabyCenter forever, I didn't realize that Isla's birthday was soon (today, in fact) as well. Happy Birthday to her, and I'm sure hers will be a little more exciting than mine next week! I'm not sure if you're getting the same weather there that I am here in MD, but we're starting some gorgeously sunny and not so cold fall days here, so still another side to November to enjoy!

mooserbeans said...

Just beautiful. I have always had an odd relationship with fall. I love bittersweet books and movies. Nothing seems more bittersweet than fall. Death, darkness, and beauty all in one. Not to mention forced (and cherished) family togetherness. Fall is an Indie film:)

PC said...

I follow a couple of other "mom" bloggers regularly, and they post on a regular basis. And while I like them just fine, I don't like their blogs as much as I like yours. There's something very calming and meditative for me about your writing. Maybe it's because in your blogs, you seem to carve out a sense of peace and calm and gratefulness for your surroundings in the midst of your neuroses; things that I'm always searching for in the midst of MY neuroses :) Sometimes I wish that you posted more often, but perhaps if you did I wouldn't be as pleased and surprised to see new posts from you. :)