© Richard Gunion |

November is a stark month. October comes in all green and glorious with a tinge around the edges. Then it flares into reds and yellows and golds, then browns, and then the leaves fall in a heap to reveal stark November.

It’s cold and gray, and when the clouds clear away and the sun shines for a day or two, blue is the only color Mother Nature is willing to share — the brown leaves and gray clouds and black nights seem feeble after the wondrous colors of spring and summer and early autumn. Now it’s mostly stark and dreary, except perhaps at sunrise or sunset.

We live in the country, so November brings the pop-pop-pop of hunters seeking meat during this time of year when wild animals are fair game. The chill in the air sends us indoors to cozy shelters and warm cider and hot chocolate and bundling blankets, and the sun becomes an occasional visitor instead of a constant companion.

But it’s also a time of thanksgiving as we gather around the table and share fellowship and gratitude for the people and the comfort in our lives, and we think of those less fortunate and share of the bounty as we can.

After months of emerging and basking in the great outdoors, November is a time of coming inside. I can appreciate folks who love the cold and enjoy the frigid outdoors — the skiers and the ice fishing enthusiasts and such – but I am content to shrink from the cold and enjoy the warmth of a cozy shelter.

November is the beginning of the cold season, with its gales and its starkness, a time to appreciate the harvest, settle in for a long time of mostly indoors, and be grateful for all that we have.

Wait, warm cider? hot chocolate? 

I love November.

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