Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November: Days of rest (by Jennifer R. Hubbard)

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.


  1. The comparison to Andrew Wyeth gives me such a vivid image! (Love his paintings...When I wear braids, I always say I've got on my Helga hairdo.)

    1. I live in the same general region where Wyeth lived and set many of his works (southeastern Pennsylvania), and often when I take a walk in fall or winter, I feel like I'm walking through one of his paintings.

  2. I love the imagery you present in this post. Simply pretty. And of course, rest. Yes, we all need that.

  3. Yes. We are all busy, but I wonder why? We have machines that do so much of the work our grandmothers had to do by hand. We have rapid transportation. We have instant communication. Where does all this "busy" come from, I wonder?

    Loved reading your post.

    1. Thank you!

      I think that as we free up time from old chores, we expect more of ourselves and so find new chores. It's similar to what happened with commuting and the rise of the automobile. When cars enabled us to get to our jobs faster, we began to move farther and farther away from them, keeping our commute times constant.