Welcoming the Drearier Days

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

— Emily Brontë


Where I live, November is typically a dark, dull, and colourless month.  The leaves have mostly fallen, days are short, mornings are foggy, and the clouds are low over the hills.

I wrote earlier of my happiness at the early arrival of fall after a hot, dry summer.  I love fall.  It’s probably my favourite season, and usually I feel sad when the colourful fall leaves are gone and we settle in for a month or more of dull, grey weather before the snows arrive.  But this year, I find myself enjoying November, savouring the early evenings, the cool air, the shapes of the bare branches against the grey sky.  There is something satisfying about seeing things dying off and starting to rot back into soil, something exhilarating about watching the first snowflakes tumbling from the sky and walking in the first snow, something refreshing about breathing the crisp air.

Winter Leaf

Somehow, more things seem possible these days.  I feel more like creating, and writing.  Neither fall nor winter, November is a liminal time of year, a time of change and transformation.  Although it may seem odd or even wrong to speak of singing “when night’s decay / ushers in a drearier day,” somehow that is exactly what I feel like doing.

What is your November like?

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3 Responses to Welcoming the Drearier Days

  1. MonaM says:

    I seem to be enjoying November more than I remember enjoying it in previous years too. This year I’m fascinated by all of the different shades of brown and gray. I always see the shades of green in Spring and Summer. I certainly have enjoyed all of the colors of Autumn for as long as I can remember, but the way I see November seems new to me this year. I guess brown and gray are colors too after all!

  2. jo baldini says:

    According to Allyson Uttley, “November is the pearl grey month, the changeling between warm, crimson October and cold, white December, the month when leaves fall in slow drifting whirls and the shapes of trees are revealed. When the earth imperceptibly wakes and stretches her bare limbs and displays her stubborn, unconquerable strength before she settles uneasily into winter.
    November is secret and silent.

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