Thursday, November 11, 2010


I've been home the last two days, yesterday on family business, and today because it is a school holiday.

I got to make soup, and bake a cake to freeze in slices for snacks next week, and tend my indoor garden.  And the day was mild and sunny, and I woke up very early, so I was able to wash a week's worth of laundry and hang it outside to dry one last time.

My dog is always very happy when I am drying laundry outside.  He gallops alongside me as I walk across the yard to the clothesline, and lolls about munching the grass--or rolling in it--as I clip socks and tee shirts onto the line.

Sometimes we stop together and peer overhead, or into the woods, at mysterious rustling animals or the wild cold calling of geese passing by.

Female wild turkeys
There is a quiet to November.  After the flurry and rush of September and October, November's hush is a surprise and a relief.  Parent conferences, in-service days, school holidays and Thanksgiving punctuate the school year, but it's more than that.  I see it on my drive to school and back each day.  The woods, so passionately on fire just days ago are faded now to shades of dun and brown and gray.  Brown wild turkeys graze golden stubble in fields of deep, turned earth, and grass fades pale under frost.

The year has finished its long, long out-breath, and is resting, gathering for the in breath at midwinter and on into spring.  A Friend said as much at Quaker meeting this week, but I had been thinking the same before he spoke.  We gained an hour, setting all our clocks back in time, and it has been strange how that hour has affected us all.  Awake now, with just that one more hour's rest, we see how weary we've become.  We feel the need for quiet in our bones, and in the weak cheer of the midday sun.

November is the rest measure in the music, the quiet of the year.  Through tree-trunks stripped of leaves and color, I see the embers of the year lying on the hearth of the horizon.

I love November, as the weary love to rest.  I love November, the pause between the breaths.


Will T said...

Hi Cat,
Thank you for this post. I do not like 4:30 sunsets but there is something in the dark months that feed my soul.

Will T

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

*happy smile* Will... Feeding your soul as much as a cheerio is enough to make me feel pretty good.

Which reminds me--I was interrupted in the middle of reading your last post, and ought to go back to it. Such riches in the pantry!

I agree with you about the 4:30 sunsets, but, oh, I do like that sense of a full larder while the earth is fallow. I think it's even nicer when we're talking about good things to read than jars of pickles and jam. *grin*

Mama Kelly aka Jia said...

Your post inspired me to bake a cake to bring slices to work myself. of course with 4 other people int he home it is disappearing rapidly and odds are Ill be making another by Wednesday at the latest.

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