I’ve never liked November.  I don’t exactly know why, especially since there are so many celebrations in my family in November as well as, of course, Thanksgiving.  And I’ve always enjoyed Thanksgiving, so why do I dread November?photo by Lisa Z Lindahl

Perhaps it is the dreary weather so often encountered in the Northeast, where I grew up and lived for so many years.  Lack of sun, the gray and too-barren landscape, early snow storms conspire to undermine my personal practice of Beauty.  I can find that Beauty in November’s landscape — but I have to work harder at it, and that bothers me.

photo by Lisa Z Lindahl
Camillia sasanqua

It is easier here in the Southeast.  The camellias are blooming red, pink and white in my yard.  The Live Oaks wear their stoles of Spanish Moss which sways elegantly in the November breezes.  There is plenty of sunlight.  I need only to look out to encounter True Beauty in this place’s November.

Spanish moss hanging from Live Oak in the evening
Spanish moss hanging from a Live Oak in the southern evening



My November discomfort may be related to the holidays — or what I call the holi-daze.  Over the course of my life I have spent too many of them alone, and that has been difficult.  When I recall all the past holidays that were filled with family and loved ones I too often compare and contrast with the “alone” holiday experiences.

But as I have written elsewhere, comparing and contrasting can be an unproductive trap.  The action may eviscerate any truth of the Beauty at hand, here in the present.

And here I am, looking at my dread, figuring it out, moving away from it and beyond — I hope!  And remembering that I am so grateful to be living in this country, in these times, where we have so much freedom to be.  To be.



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