The seasons help us look within: November in Canada
November in Canada can be very dreary.
Today it is. It’s overcast, which means we can’t see the sky, and the air is very heavy. The cloud cover is like a blanket stifling us, telling us to stay inside and sleep. Hibernate.
Maybe I’ll just curl up for a nap.
The trees have mostly shed their leaves for the winter months to come. The only colour we see is from the fall leaves scattered on the ground and the conifer trees that remain green all winter.
It’s as if the world has become grey, which is in direct contrast to how beautiful it is here during the spring and summer, and even early fall.
It’s days like this that I find it particularly hard to focus and work. November is my least favourite month, and we have a couple weeks of this coming up in the forecast.
December is often bright, crisp and cold with white snow everywhere that sparkles like jewels. I much prefer that, even though it becomes a lot colder, than the dreariness of November.
I know November is the month that helps us prepare physically and psychologically for the cold to come. The temperature slowly drops and we adjust more and more to the layers of clothes we must wear, the hats, mittens and gloves, and the boots. Sometimes it feels as if it takes forever to get dressed just to go out the door.
My dog isn’t very patient with that, but what can I do? She doesn’t need anything and I need layers. Such is life.
And as I sit here looking out my living room windows seeing roof tops and grey clouds I wonder if I’ll get anything done today at all. If I do it’ll be a struggle.
And here in Canada more people pass away in the winter months from November to February, and I can understand why.
We’re creatures that feel the seasons just like any other.
And winter here is when many of the living things become dormant, at least for a few months. So I suppose if anyone was planning on leaving this mortal coil it makes sense the colder months kind of encourage that.
At my church it can be rather overwhelming how many funerals happen in winter. Last winter it was particularly hard on our minister, who lost many faithful parishioners she knew very well. We’ll have to wait and see what this winter will bring.
I suppose it’s on my mind a bit because my father is getting quite old. He is beginning to lose his memory and is losing weight. And a small part of me wonders if his body will decide to give up this winter.
As our parents age we start thinking about these things.
So on this dreary November day I’m wondering about what’s going to come. The natural cycle of life is taking hold of us, and we’re turning inward and taking stock. I suppose that’s what the change of seasons is for.
Looking within and slowing down to stay warm, sleep more and value our loved ones.
From the series, Because I’m a woman and because I can! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor