culture & community travel

November is a Shade of Blue (or: Winter Stands On The Doorstep)

by JoAnna — November 10, 2014

According to Briana October has been…a month and I have to say I completely agree. It seems the last quarter of 2014 has been challenging for many of us around the globe. I know I found September and October to be so frightfully disdainful I could not wait for November to round the corner, with the hope the year would finally find its stride. And while such thoughts are, no doubt, elementary, I know I’ve been trudging through the mire.

The holding pattern I’ve experienced is real.

It is tried, tested and true.

The sunset of the year is upon us.

The sunset of the year is upon us.

The thing is, November does not have the best of reputations. She’s seen as cold and biting, and has little left to give. Ever since I can remember November has been much of the same. It’s a time when people get restless as feelings of incompletion and stagnation begin to scratch at our thinly constructed veneers.

I clearly recall being in university, for example, and referring to weeks 45 thru 48 as the “November slump.” It seems even then I was aware of how drained and diminished so many people would become–myself included–as we sought asylum from the aggrieved month by piling on the layers and switching to warming foods and pulling back from the world to slip under the protective cover of hibernation. We do this because it is so much more comforting under our safety blanket. We do it because it feels perfectly secure. We do it because November can be down right vexatious. Because there’s a chance for renewal.

You know, I only put the word hibernation in the text so I could post this picture of a bear in my aunt's front yard.

You know, I only put the word hibernation in the above text so I could post this picture of a mama bear in my aunt’s front yard.

Because winter is coming.

Ah yes, November, you have arrived and we all know. We’re aware there’s only eight weeks left of 2014 to see some things through and we’re also quite cognizant there’s no place to hide from your coming accession, quite literally, there is no place to run.

However, like Briana, I’ve had enough of the melodrama and because of my irritation I’ll be meeting you head on. I’ll be shifting focus and changing tactics and though I may be hiding my frame in concurrent layers of wool I’m doing it with a smile.

A sort of self-inflicted glee.

I’m doing it because there’s something beautiful about you November. There’s something to be said for turning inwards and embracing the advent of long nights that arrived the moment time fell back on itself. There is something healing about having a glass of wine and listening to music. There is something quite endearing about sitting by the soft glow of a 40 watt bulb with a good book to read. There is a pleasantness in long twilights that reach for the horizon and there is a haunting beauty in absence, the trees stripped of their leaves.

And though your temperatures are approaching abysmal I’ll still be searching for my daily quotient of vitamin D. I will embrace the sun when it makes an appearance and I will roll out my bike to cross over into Manhattan. I’ll also be taking myself out on long jaunts where I walk in the direction of the wind.

So by all means, dearest November, blow as hard as you can.

November Blues


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