December; short days, cold nights, and snow. It can feel hard to thrive. But you can, change it to; crisp air, bright stars and winter birds, giving yourself a different place to see it from. And in that place you might feel you can easily thrive. I find I have to mix things up a bit when late fall arrives. Activities done later in the day in summer I shift to late morning so the early dark doesn’t creep up on me mid task. I spend more time reading in the evening when the desire to be inside makes snuggling up with a good book appealing. I mull over and write poems in the evening too, when my mind seems open to the word play. December can be a time of unexpected, unusual growth, and end of the year time to grow before the new one starts.
Here it is the tail end of August, the final few weeks of summer lie ahead. It catches me by surprise every year how quickly summer slips away. The first school bus rolls down the street and wham it is September. The chorus of crickets at night reach their crescendo and start to taper off. The woods take on that different smell that foretells the approach of fall.
There is a wistfulness that comes with this change of seasons that seems specific. Perhaps that is why fall explodes in so much glorious color, to soothe us over the loss of summer.
We have turned the season from winter to spring and are enjoying those first balmy days knowing snow may yet fall. But everyone’s mood is lightened anyhow by the sun and longer days. I am starting to see tiny, colorful sprouts poking up in the flower beds, and fewer birds at the feeder. Soon I will put out the hummingbird feeder and the planters. But not quite yet, as it is an in between space where much can happen if I am open to it.
It starts with the first faint rapping on summer’s door. The first colored leaf, the earlier dusk, the chillier dawns. The tapping grows louder as we move through the end of September. Ignoring it won’t make it stop, it will continue on without us being involved.
It is a sure sign that winter is edging in when I have to scrape the windshield. The days are inching along to the solstice and this November the temperature has been colder than usual. It is a season of sharp air carrying the smell of woodsmoke. A time when sound seems to carry in the clear air. The evenings deter going out as the darkness makes home seem cozier.
I like November for all these reasons and more. The rush feels done for now, and there’s the chance to just be still and absorb the world. Fields lie bare, beaches are quiet, and the sunsets are brilliant. It is a time apart and unto itself, perfect for following stray thoughts.
October is behind us. The clocks are slipping behind an hour too. It is that strange, shifting stretch of the fall season. The colors are gone, scattered on the ground and in drifts. It is a season of waiting. I don’t mind the iron cold days November brings, the bare branches, the smell of wood stoves newly lit. I can wait for the snow to fall, there is no need to rush winter weather.