Sunday, November 09, 2014


We're in that sweet spot between Halloween and Thanksgiving. If you don't give in to the early Christmas push all around you, it's a great time to slow down and savor the color, the cooler air, the smell of the dried leaves before the year-end onslaught. The season calls for joyful reflection of nature and life in general. I call it Novembering.

Novembering is my best Advent effort, since real Advent hits at a time that, no matter how we try to resist, is jam-packed with obligations not to be ignored. So I do my watchful waiting between Halloween and Thanksgiving. It's a time for extra reading, extra thinking, extra kindness. There's time right now. No trees or presents, no parties or performances. A chance to tap the brakes and pull off the road for a few weeks, intentionally, without the stress or guilt that will pile on in a month.

I'm not sure I could commit to Novembering without the color and glory that is autumn. There are fine reasons, I'm sure, to live in places without brilliant red maples or blindingly yellow ginkgos, but none come to mind. Deserts and beaches, nah. Not in November. Maybe in January or February, but definitely not in November.

So I'll use the color and crisp air to spur honest reflection in the days running up to Thanksgiving. No early Christmas for me, even though it's my favorite holiday, because I need this time for other things. Like appreciating the slowing down of nature, even if life in general doesn't slow down. Like thinking deeply about what I'm thankful for and why.

Novembering lets me prepare myself first for the day of Thanksgiving. And if I'm prepared for that, I'm well on my way to being mentally and emotionally prepared for Christmas.