In the northern hemisphere, November is the pause in the middle of fall, between the flurry of school starting and the frenzy of the holidays.
The trees and the ground grow bare, pared down to essentials, to basic structures. Sycamore limbs glow white against blue skies. Japanese maples turn the color of sunsets, then spill their beauty onto the browning grass.
The light in November is special; it has lost its harshness but not its warmth. It’s the last burst of gold before we settle in to the darkness of winter.
In the US, at the end of the month, we take a day to gather together, give thanks, and rest.
Offhand, I can’t think of a book that captures November for me, but many of the paintings of Andrew Wyeth do. Wyeth preferred the muted colors of winter’s palette to the more vivid hues of summer, as in his painting, Trodden Weed.
That can lead to a mournful feeling, but to me late fall is not so much sad as it is peaceful, contemplative. Everyone I know is so busy—too busy. I think we all need more days in which we can slow down, look inward, and minimize distractions.