The dawning of November is my favorite time of year. I meet her at the doormat with a sweater draped off my shoulder and anticipation in my eyes, for she has come right on schedule, the month of limbo after the ghoulish nights of October and before the joy and jolly of December. A month of transition: from jack-o-lanterns to cornucopias, from fall to winter, from gratefulness to cheer. She is my month of reflection.
Her rain boots will be muddied and her hands will be shoved in pockets. She’ll say that she’s glad to be back, and I’ll agree that I’m glad to see her. We’ll clump through soggy streets full of wilted leaves. The oranges, yellows, reds will be duller, but the air will become crisper. Soon enough, coats will be pulled from closets and eyes will wait for the first sign of snow in the forecast. The days will be counted down until Thanksgiving break, and then items adorning Christmas wish lists will be checked twice.
And in that time, we’ll relish the feelings of coziness together: fireplaces and flannel pajamas, mugs of hot chocolate and shelves of good books, long sleeves and plaid scarves, pumpkin pie and extra cranberry sauce. We’ll comb through all the moments since her last visit, and she’ll ask me about the milestones: the resolutions, the dreams, the losses, the laughter, and the tears. She’ll nod her head with every story and ask only the important questions: “How are you feeling?” “What are you thinking?” “What will you do next?”
She’ll leave me eventually for her cousin December to step in with packages and bows tucked under his arms, an evergreen trailing behind him on the stairs. But my mind will be reeling with everything she’s stirred up inside of me: the inspirations, the tranquility, the closure. And the hope for another fulfilling year ahead.