Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

IMGP6083My daughter’s birthday month got off to an early start when she received her birthday card from the Green Bay Packers on October 31. Finally, an organization that appreciates November with the same enthusiasm as my daughter!

Typically we don’t get excited about November. It’s that brown month between the captivating color change and crisp fall air of October and the lights, tinsel and snow of December. The harvest is in. The fields are barren; the birds have migrated, and the snow has not yet covered the earth in its white winter blanket.

November is the month of naked trees, early nightfall, and frosty mornings. It’s monochromatic. In the United States, the even the major holiday in November, Thanksgiving, is primarily black, white and brown—harkening to pilgrims, turkeys, and a harvest brought in.

At first glance it is a plain month, a quiet month, a slow month.

And in our society we are not comfortable with plain, quiet and slow.

So we rush headlong from October to December with our “Happy HalloThankMas Clearance Sales”. Artificial Christmas trees are on sale on All Saints Day, before the Halloween displays can even be taken down. Christmas baked goods are in the stores before the turkeys can be thawed.

So often adults complain about the inability of small children to sit still and be quiet. But we are just as bad. We are so unable to slow down, that we don’t even notice November. We do everything we can to stay busy, and ignore the simple, plaintive brown call of November to slow down, be quiet and listen.

Maybe you pray. Maybe you meditate. Maybe you sit and think. But you are still. You are quiet.

You might spend time with loved ones, around a table eating a meal, in a kitchen peeling potatoes, or in a living room watching a football game. Maybe you work in a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen or an orphanage. But you slow down and you spend quality time with other people.

That is what November calls us to do. There is no money to be made. No corporate ladder to climb. No social status to claim. Just time to be quiet and genuine and real. Time to slow down and recharge and prepare for the long winter and the awakening in spring.

November, a glorious month that allows us to be ourselves without show or pretense—simple and unadorned. Oh that we could spend more time here.

© 2015 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “November Quiet

  1. Great post, Michelle.
    Our Novembers where I live can go from warm and balmy one day where we’re out walking in our t-shirts and capris, to bitterly cold and/or wet the next where we’re bundled in jackets and raincoats and mittens. Completely unpredictable, is our November. But always still pretty, at least for the first half of the month. Trees haven’t yet given up all their leaves but the ones that have fallen are carpeting the ground on which we walk and they make a lovely crunching sound under our shoes as we go about our way. Dreary, rainy days are just that – dreary and rainy and make us appreciate being inside and warm.
    My son’s birthday was yesterday – a November baby, too. When your daughter’s special day rolls around please wish her a Happy Birthday from your blogging friend in Atlantic Canada and maybe show her where New Brunswick is on a map. 😊

    1. Michele says:

      Hi Sylvia,
      So good to hear from you. I will tell her where New Brunswick is and wish her happy birthday from you. We have had an unseasonably warm November this year (I am not complaining). I am sure winter will show eventually. Stay warm and dry and happy belated birthday to your son.

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