As November draws to a close, I am writing with great gratitude for the many gifts it has brought me.
November used to be my least favorite month. Cold and dark and rainy, for most of my life I have viewed November as a dreaded bone-chilling expanse between crisp and colorful October and festive, white December. This November, I feel differently.
Over the past few years, I have come to appreciate November as something more than the dismal month connecting October and December. I don't believe that November, itself, has changed - especially since I now live further North than I have in the past and my experience of November is colder and darker than ever. Instead, I know that I have changed. As I've slowly unwound from my fast paced attorney life, each November since 2008 has seemed a little softer, a bit quieter, a tad less lonely and even a little less dark to me. As my mind has relaxed from the constant pressure of tracking trial deadlines, scheduling meetings, and preparing for court appearances, I have developed a greater awareness of my physical surroundings: the path the sun marks in the sky, the moon's light pouring through my sleeping window, and the blooming and retiring of nature's bounty from Spring into Fall.
As I walked past the lake on November 21st, the cold, dark water reflected the blue-gray clouds as the chilled breeze blew small, lapping waves upon the sandy shoreline. In this moment, I embraced the joy and blessing that is November - a time for slowing down from the chaotic blaze of color that October offers, reflecting on nature's transition, and preparing for December's snowy, peace. The lake's beauty engulfed me as I recognized that the gentle unwinding within me, now surrounds me, and I gave thanks for this and every November of my life.