Jessie: In New Hampshire where it well and truly feels like winter is on the way.
Yesterday, as my husband and I set out in the car on some errands he remarked that it certainly looked like fall. I replied that it really looked like November. To me, there is just something so melancholy about November.
In Northern New England the leaves have all tumbled to the ground save those clinging tenaciously to the odd beech tree. The ground has started to freeze to a gelato-like consistency of lumpy hillocks about the lawn. The afternoons are bleak, and often bleary, just past three o’clock. Salad seems too chilly to eat.
And while all that may seem discouraging to people who cannot get enough of the warmer months, to me, honestly, it is a bit of a relief. You know those things your parents say, that their parents likely said, and you, in turn say to those people younger than yourself? In my family those things often included admonishments concerning the weather. In my family, squandering a beautiful day by lurking about inside the house has always been practically a form of sinfulness.
Don’t get me wrong; I love to be outside. I adore walking the beach, grilling over an open flame and pottering about in my garden. Those first warm evenings in spring when it is possible to sit on the deck without a jacket are a reason to celebrate. But, in my opinion, so is November.
As the days grow shorter and the cold wraps round the house like a boa constrictor, squeezing ever more determinedly, I feel a sense of lightheartedness. I happen to love lots of activities that make me feel guilty indulging in if the weather is fine. What Yankee worth her salt can justify whiling away a beautiful summer’s day on the couch knitting a sweater, even if it is for a loved one? Or reading books tucked up in a wingback chair inside the house for the afternoon?
With no gardening to do there is more time to attend to those little indoor projects that crop up, like sorting out the pantry or writing a newsy letter to a friend. Or feverishly working away on a new novel. For me November starts the season of research and planning as much as doing. It is a time for gathering in and sorting through and honoring a quieter rhythm.
By April I am quite certain I will once again be telling myself, and my younger loved ones, not to waste a beautiful day withindoors. But for now, I am eager to indulge in November and all that entails, blissfully guilt-free.
Readers, do you love the onset of indoor weather? Writers, are you more or less productive once the dark and cold set in?