Monday, November 06, 2006

Embracing the elements

Here it is, Monday morning, the first Monday of November (yikes! that means I'd better finish voting today). November is usually a dreary month in my mind. Here in the Northwest, it is typically soggy and raining and dismal, punctuated by periods of nose-biting cold. Even now, as I look out my kitchen window, I see that this is true. The sky is monochromatically gray. It is drizzling (oh, how I miss the sudden, severe downpours of the Midwest - none of this constant drizzle that is heavy enough to chill you to the bone, but so light that you feel utterly ridiculous in carrying an umbrella or in running to your car). Most of the beautiful fall foliage is gone, at least from the trees that I can see from where I sit. My outside table is covered in a shallow pool of water and in soggy pine needles. My tomato plant is black and drooping and looks like something that would wash in with the tide, and yet - and here is the real paradox of the Northwest - it is covered in tomatoes, some red and some so green that there is no hope of their ripening before Jack Frost comes to claim them. No, it is not pretty outside right now. And yet, somehow, this November doesn't seem dismal and dreary to me. I was dreading it - I always dread winter here - but there seems to have been no reason to do so. Perhaps I have finally been acclimated to the weather of the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps being home during the day, and not in a windowless office as in years past, has reduced any seasonal blues. Perhaps my husband and I have become more accustomed with age and with a child to the quieter pleasures that staying home affords us, thus eliminating "cabin fever". Whatever the reason, I am thankful. And really, isn't that what November is about?

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