The golden days of another summer are fast fading into the shadows of time.
Last night, as the awakening moon was gathering strength high in the starlit heavens, a flight of wild geese winging high overhead honked an invitation to link into their flight of freedom, to escape this earthly prison and join them as they cleaved through the cool November skies. Although the temptations were strong, to my dismay, my wings are too feeble and earthly tethers too strong to allow me to accept the wild calling to join them in such untrammeled freedom.
November translates as brilliant sun, shorter days and nights that are increasingly long and cool. Autumn is Nature settling down in its bed amid fallen leaves as it prepares for a well-deserved upcoming nap. The name for November originated as an old Roman term NOVEM meaning nine, based on earlier pagan calendars meaning the ninth moon after the spring equinox.
Some may argue which month of the year does man most welcome. November has its briskness and its bounty. While May, with its greening grasses, new leaves and awakening flowers, has a lot to say in its favor. The appeal of each month relies on the others. As Edwin Way Teale asked, “How sad would be November if we had no knowledge of the spring.”
In the days before home electricity, thermostats, refrigerators and heat-pumps, November meant the year in maturity, smelling smoke houses, curing bacon, salting fish, filling root cellars, packing barrels of potatoes, pickling, drying fruit, canning along with soap and candle making. It meant feeding forever hungry, coal devouring floor furnaces, coal chutes, hay in the barn and hauling firewood. It is preparing for the future while offering thanks for the past.
To nature, November is completing another year of housekeeping. She’s sweated and toiled and has earned a well-deserved winter’s rest amid her colorful blankets of fallen leaves.