Good morning. . .
Well, I guess it’s not morning any more. It’s mid-afternoon. But I wanted to start first thing in the morning. You know, “early to rise” and all that stuff. But I didn’t make it. No excuses. So, here I am, better late than never.
My name is November. Today is my birthday. First of November; first day of the month; first day of ?
It’s kind of a strange birthday, welcoming all the hallows (those dead saints and other souls floating around in an aether defined by someone’s religious beliefs). And the gusty, chilly winds of autumn winding down, knocking down the rest of the dying leaves. And this year only, a strange very warm sun beating away the hallows and the mists and the mystery of the northern hemisphere floating into winter and rebirth. Hello, bright sun! Wonder if I’ll see you again this month?
In spite of the sun today, there really isn’t any rebirth in November. I share my time with All the Saints, All the Dead Souls, the Fogmoon, the Mourning Moon, the end of Daylight savings time and the dark night of the “Crossroads.” I have a holiday to elect politicians, a holiday to honor veterans, a holiday to thank some Indians for teaching the English how to grow corn. I remember a lot of war: Pearl Harbor, a celebration of comrades and kin who fell in battle, the Armistice of World War I, the assassination of a President, and the separation of Church and State.
Only the Hindus grant my birthday month some light – SOMETIMES. It’s the festival of lights – Diwali – when lots of gift giving and fireworks happen. But the date of Diwali changes each year and it’s only in November about half the time, although on a rare occasion it does fall on my birthday!
I host notable birthdays (in addition to my own) on every day of the month, including Carl Sagan and a few other astronomers, Kurt Vonegut and a few other writers and Mandy Patinkin and a lot of other actors. Oh, yeah. And Voltaire, who was in a class by himself.
My month is a time of settling in, of getting ready for the dark, cold time of winter, a last chance to put food by, to harvest the wild things, to cut wood for the fireplace and to fluff up the down blankets in the bedroom. It’s time to start looking within. I will celebrate my birthday by looking at what November is about and write down how I see each day. I hope to have a better understanding of my birthday by the time I get to the first of December. I hope you will join me for the ride.
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Oh, about this guy/gal. In honor of dead things day, one of my colleagues brought him to a meeting. S/He presided well.