November musing

“Are you embracing the time change?” a friend asked me teasingly when we turned the clocks back. Well, embracing is probably too strong a word but I am working on letting go of grumpiness. I find it so easy as the dark season approaches to sink into complaint, to moan about the early darkness and the cold temperatures to come, the snow, the ice. 

I’m trying to center down into the moment. To find small quiet islands to rest on when things feel tumultuous, serendipitous moments. I was driving to work the other morning–an overcast day and a sleepy brain that was skittering around through a litany of “things to do” and “things to fret about.” It was a typical November landscape with trees mostly bare except for oaks with their browned leaves when all of a sudden I noticed on a hillside one bright yellow-leafed tree and for that moment I was just…there, not planning, not fretting, just noticing. 

Although I’m not religious I sometimes stand in awe, feel a need to praise. Here’s a poem by Barbara Crooker that speaks to that need:


Cold morning, November, taking a walk,
when suddenly, up ahead, the trees unleave,
and thousands of starlings lift off, an immense
river of noise; they braid and unbraid themselves
over my head, the gray silk sky embroidered
with black kisses, the whoosh of their wings,
their chattering clatter, patterns broken/formed/
reformed, a scarf of ragged ribbons. Dumb-
struck, mouth open, I say holy and I say moly.
And then, they’re gone.

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