Saturday, November 7, 2009


This used to be my least favorite month. As I get older, I find I am appreciating the differences in the months and seasons more--seeing, feeling, touching, tasting and hearing them.

For example, in November:

  • the smell of fallen leaves, woodsmoke, and cooking
  • the sight of deep browns and russet of leaves, bronze of chrysanthemums, the completeness of dark on no-moon nights
  • the rough texture of split wood, smooth coldness of apples, warmth of wood fires and quilts
  • the sound of owls calling, fires crackling, soup bubbling, leaves rustling, and wind howling
  • the taste of cider, pumpkin pie, chili and hot tea

You can probably add to my list. What are your favorite November things?

I was browsing through a 1920's elementary school literature book and found this poem. Although some if the sentiments are a bit sweet for my taste, I thought it expressed well some of the sensory offerings of the month.

By Alice Cary (1820-1871)

The leaves are fading and falling;
The winds are rough and wild
The birds have ceased their calling—
But let me tell you, my child,

Though day by day, as it closes,
Doth darker and colder grow,
The roots of bright red roses
Will keep alive in the snow.

And when the winter is over,
The boughs will get new leaves,
The quail come back to the clover,
And the swallow back to the eaves.

The robin will wear on his bosom
A vest that is bright and new,
And he loveliest wayside blossom
Will shine with the sun and dew.

The leaves today are whirling;
The brooks are dry and dumb—
But let me tell you, my darling,
The spring will be sure to come

There must be cold, rough weather,
and winds and rain so wild;
Not all good things together
Come to us here, my child.

So when some dear joy loses
Its beauteous summer glow,
Think how the roots of the roses
Are kept alive in the snow.


Rowan said...

Like you I find a lot of good things to appreciate in November one of which is more time. All spring and summer I seem to be coming and going a great deal, all very pleasureable of course, but oh how lovely it is just to stay home and putter about doing domestic things or walking in the woods. Lovely post - the poem is a tad on the sweet side but nonetheless there is a lot of truth in it.

Janet, said...

I like November, too. It's not so bitter cold as January and February and you usually get a few warm days (such as today) to enjoy. And I love Thanksgiving and the getting together of friends and family.

Granny Sue said...

Me too, Rowan! Time to just stop for a while and do the everyday things at my own pace is a lovely thing. The poem, I think could stand to lose the last two or three verses and stand better without them.

Granny Sue said...

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays too Janet. Not for the food but for the time with family and appreciation of the good things in our lives.

mary said...

I do love the beautiful colors of the leaves, and now I'm getting a much clearer view of the little pond. The cooler, crisp weather suits me, and as Gerald wrote, if winter comes, can spring be far behind." I'm already thinking daffodils. Oh, and my Christmas cactus is blooming already!!
Your squirrel dinner sounds delicious!!

This post seems very "Twelve Month Brothers."

Granny Sue said...

Good connection, Mary--maybe my mention of the Twelve Months on Storytell lead to this post? Many things happen in our minds when we're not paying attention!

Susan at Stony River said...

What a perfect post for the season; I love the poem.

I always loved November because growing up in my family, it was Birthday Season; almost every day was somebody's birthday in November. I'm one of the few survivors of that crowd so it's a bit lonely now, but I love the photos and memories that I linger over this time of year. I even like turning another year older; I feel like I've got a higher 'score' LOL.

Seeing the first Christmas lights coming on, and looking forward to a holiday season filled with family and friends and good food and goodwill, that's another November favourite!

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