I love that poem by Thomas Hood I posted below and I think it is accurate in many ways, but lest you think I'm feeling depressed in this season, I would like to confess that I love November.
Yesterday's house showing was at 3:30 and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make our November visit to a cemetery and pray for the departed. (You have until the 8th to gain the plenary indulgence.) As I stepped out the door, Dawn's lovely post still fresh in my mind, I greeted the November afternoon.
The air was cool enough to wear a sweater, but not so cool that a jacket was needed. The sky was gray, gray, gray, like a huge comforter filling the air; it was everywhere. Set against this like so many veins were the bare, bare branches of trees and the black, black wings of crows. Their call, "caw...caw..." pierced the stillness, and bareness, and emptiness.
As I drove to the cemetery, I felt a cozy contentment and a strange sort of hushed excitement. I thought for a moment that it might be morbid of me to enjoy this weather--to feel happy as I walked about a graveyard. But then I remembered that it is the privilege of the Christian to feel joy, even in sadness. We can, because we know the end of the story. We know that death and darkness do not get the last word.
November is nature's advent. As her days diminish and her colors fade, as a frost veils her face, nature assumes a posture of quiet contemplation. November is nature humbling herself, in a kind of premonition, before the Creator's birth. She must decrease. And the Light of the World, born in a cave, must increase and fill the earth.
Perhaps this is why I always begin listening to Advent music in early November, before the liturgical season actually begins.