And so, November comes
Here we are in November. It's a mixed bag for me.
Weather-wise, I always feel like I'm coming into my own. Nothing fuels my creative went more than a blustery, cold day. The starkness of the newly barren trees only makes me want to fill the world with my own color. All my favorite fabrics come into play (fleece, wool, flannel...). I get to enjoy the warm ambiance of a crackling fire, the rich inner glow of a hearty soup or stew on a dark evening, the beautifully acrid scent of rotting leaves.
It is, in the Catholic tradition (and you can take the girl out of the Catholicism, but you can't take the Catholicism out of the girl) the Month of the Dead. It's also the month that ostensibly involves Giving Thanks. Cue the introspection. For me, Thanksgiving isn't about the parades, the meal, the football games, or even the family gatherings. It's about tallying up the events of my life for the past year and recognizing the beauty and treasure that's come my way, and voicing a commitment to continue a search for more - mostly by striving to be the best Who that I can be. It's the month in which I was born. I can honestly say that I've never faced the It's a Wonderful Life syndrome of having wished I'd been otherwise dispatched. Sure, there have been a few times in my younger days when I wished I was dead, but never have I wished that I hadn't been placed on this huck of dirt to begin with. So, I celebrate my day - not with presents and cake and parties - but with the acknowledgment that I was put on this earth for a reason, and with a grateful nod to the Universe that my life was allowed at all. I'm not daunted by the aging process or by the numbers, because both aspects only mean that each November, I get to be thankful for being offered the opportunity to continue this strange and amazing journey.
It's also the month in which my Father was born. This always makes me feel more sorrow for him than the month in which he died. As turbulent as our relationship could be, Dad and I share a love for the cold, crisp days and a crackling fire; we share the ever-present, often sardonic, sense of humor that others either delight in or find offensive; we share a deep appreciation for any natural beauty; we share a certain level of artistic flair. I also have the female version of his face (thanks for the great eyes, Dad!), and his bone structure. It's been nearly 26 years since he left this earth, and I find I miss him more with each passing year. I wish I could sit down with him, and tell him how beautiful my life is, tell him I love him, let him know it's okay. Therein lies the sadness of my November.
And so, November it is. I will revel in it. In fact, I'll give myself to it with wild abandon. Come the 17th, should you spy a certain (self-perceived) gypsy girl dancing around a bonfire, tears streaming past a grin, hollering, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" (and that could all happen literally or figuratively) That'd be me. Stop and say hi, give me a hug, wish me well.