“The house was very quiet, and the fog—we are in November now—pressed against the windows like an excluded ghost.” E.M Forester
“The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.”
– William Cullen Bryant
‘In November you begin to know how long the winter will be.” Martha Gellhorn
“In summary, conditions for the Northern Rockies are anticipated to revert to the recent wet and unsettled character of late. No real large scale pattern change is evident in the extended forecast.” NOAA forecast 11.14.19
We are in the heart of November now, the melancholy days. In the dense morning fog, NOAA’s summary of the weather matches my mood. Everything is wet and slushy and life, itself, feels unsettled, with no large scale pattern change in the extended forecast. In November, a big gray cloud covers the valley, creating an inversion of dripping fog on the warmer days, and ice on the cold ones. It was a jolt to fly home from California into a snow storm, on roads instantly turned to ice. Thankfully, it was short lived and by the next morning, the snow and ice had turned back into water. The dehumidifier is turned on in the garage to soak up the slosh accumulating on the concrete floor.
November is also the month of thanksgiving–just because we’ve made it this far, if nothing else comes to mind. Yet, even Eeyore can find gratitude in the snowy freezing months:
“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner (1928)
I had the house to myself last evening and started the fire early. I turned off the Impeachment news, the school shooting story, and lit the candles, and with a kitty cat on my lap, opened one of the four books which had arrived while we were in California. (I’ve lived here long enough to know what’s required in the dark, cold months.) I glanced out the window at one point to see rays of the sun, for the first time all day, and not long thereafter, Venus appeared between streaks of clouds. I watched with a few long, slow breaths, and then the clouds closed over the bits of light in the sky, and all was dark again. In the middle of the long night, awakening from restless dreams, the Beaver Moon illuminated the dense fog out my window, and all was white and blank outside, and it felt like morning would never come. But, it does, if we are lucky. We get another chance to be surprised by bits of light, and, if we are really paying attention, find a solace of sorts, in the quiet fog which shrouds us, when all the world feels in disarray.