Gathering time

An American Indian tale has it that this season, the period between mid-November and December, is when the gods would decree a short respite in the weather in order that man and all gathering creatures could better fulfill preparations for the cold, windy, wet and icy days that lurked ahead.

Interestingly, this bit of American folklore closely resembles those ancient Greek and Roman tales regarding the upcoming Halcyon days; a tale referring to a two week period during the late autumn when the Halcyon bird, the European kingfisher, would petition the local gods into charming the winds and calming the seas, allowing the bird uninterrupted time for the safe brooding of her newborn in her nest that floated upon a tranquil sea.

Today, as then, November is the season of fulfillment and survival, of acorns falling, the sassy scolding of fattened squirrels and the joy that comes with the gatherings of family and friends in homespun feasting, of offering all a heartfelt welcoming before the warming glow of a friendly home and fireplace.