Sunday, November 18, 2012

Heavy November

I always think of November as an odd month, and not just because it is an odd month, being the 11th of the year. November feels heavy to me. Summer is a memory, there are no more refreshing swims outdoors, sweaters and jackets replace shorts and sandals, Halloween is over... We eat heavier, craving substantial portions of starches and hot, dense foods instead of warm weather foods like grilled fish, steamed veggies, and fresh fruits (watermelon is a summer passion of mine). And it's physically darker. Days are short, and the sunlight we have is often filtered by cloud cover (especially during my years in Vermont).

I sleep more in November. Some part of me remembers the hibernation instinct, I think. I get a prolonged surge of energy in September and October as cooler weather sets in, and then my energy disappears in November. A few months ago, I was bounding out of bed at 5:00 or 5:15, ready to make something of my day. Now I crawl out from under the covers around 6:30, feeling groggy from all the starch I ate the night before and still debating whether to roll over to go back to sleep. And I nap, sometimes over an hour, sleeping deeply enough that I'm groggy all over again when I wake.

Despite all those things, I like November. As a kid, I couldn't wait for it to bring me another birthday and make me a year older. Believe me, I've gotten over the excitement of getting older, but it's still "my month," as far as birthdays go. My partner and many friends also have November birthdays, and those celebrations lighten the month for me. And then there's Thanksgiving, a great reason to enjoy an elaborate meal with family and/or friends and a reminder to be thankful for all our many blessings.

And I like earth tones, and November certainly has that going for it.

So November is odd to me. It has little of the active appeal of September and October, but I still welcome this heavy period. It re-nourishes and replenishes my body and mind from all I managed to accomplish during the energetic lighter periods. That's got to be good, right? And the heaviness of November doesn't overstay its welcome. Usually once I've slept off the tryptophan of Thanksgiving and December arrives, things feel lighter again to me.

Life plays out in cycles, and I like that. In fact, I think I'll add that to my list of things to be thankful for this year. Right after I eat a baked potato and take a nap.


  1. November is a bit of a tease up here. We know any day now winter will hit, but it's really hard to gauge. It's cold, chilly, not so cold, then bitterly cold. Our colours have already gone with the wind. Yes, there is a much stronger wind and sometimes it even scares me.

    You've made me realized that I don't give November enough credit. In the old days, we started it off on the 5th by celebrating my dad's birthday, then my BIL, now my son.

    I need to reinvent my attitude towards this very pretty month.

  2. It's quite the transitional month, isn't it, Joylene? And I understand how much more difficult your Novembers are than mine now. Vermont Novembers were quite bleak, which prompted Jack and I to take our first Caribbean cruise back in Nov. '02. Where attitudes fail, cruises prevail. Ha.