Well, autumn was nice, but fleeting, as it always is. Here we are, November, on the cusp of winter already. Autumn and spring seem like the shortest seasons to me, those transitional periods where everything is always changing and nothing lasts for long. Winter endures, from November through March, a long five months of cold and snow bookended by marginally less cold and snow.
Virtually all of the trees have lost the last of their leaves now, and their thin, bare branches form a stark background in the landscape. The only colour remaining exists in the yellows of the stubborn beech leaves, the greens of the few scattered conifers, and the golden browns of the dead grasses. On a bleak, overcast day, the sort of day that I tend to associate with November, everything looks very washed out and monotone. November is a slightly depressing month, that empty gap between the beauty of the fall colours and the beauty of the crisp winter snows.
The days are cooling down, but the nights have become cold, with frost gilding the edges of the grass blades and fallen leaves when we rise in the morning. The afternoon sun takes the edge off the chill, and one can forget, temporarily, that a long winter is on the way. Evenings are spent beside the fireplace, listening to the cozy rumble of burning wood, curled up, perhaps, with the pets and a good book.
I don’t like to rush the seasons, preferring to enjoy each one while it’s here, knowing the next will arrive in due time and I’ll regret not having taken greater advantage of the previous. November, however, is the sole exception to this. I tend to look through November, to the snow and ice beyond, anticipating the crunch of fresh snow underfoot, the soft, pristine white expanses, the fat, fluffy snowflakes drifting lazily down from the sky, the skating rink Dan plans to clear on the lake.