Oh, November! Following on the heels of the golden glory that was October, you feel utterly oppressive. It is as if you have pulled a cold grey blanket across the sky, and tucked it in close to the earth.
Goodbye to the sun! It has slipped so far to the south that our bodies could no longer make vitamin D even if it were to show its glowing face. Goodbye to the brightly colored leaves that delighted my eyes as fading chlorophyll revealed hidden carotenoids and anthocyanins. A few dry leaves yet cling to their branches, colored only by basic brown tannins. Goodbye to all the wild things that busied themselves this last month getting ready for winter. No more caterpillars, crickets, millipedes, nor spiders, which just a few weeks ago had the prairie crawling with life. A handful of hard frosts later and the earth is still.
We have made our preparations too. Hay is baled and stacked. Firewood is split. Strawberry plants are tucked under a blanket of straw. Hoses and sprinklers are empty, wound up out of the way. A new addition to our shed offers protection to our machinery and other sundry goods. We have tidied up our outdoor lives as we move the focus indoors.
With the turning back of our clocks, it is light earlier, a welcome change. At the other end of the day, it is dark soon after five. Time to seek refuge by the fire and eat hearty meals that chase the cold away. Time to lengthen our slumber and give thanks for the roof over our heads. Another busy season has passed. We’ve circled around the sun into the chilly dark days of winter.