The American beech trees wait to turn golden until most of the other leaves in the forest have dropped and the result is a beautiful warm glow, making November my favorite month this year. I don’t think I’ve ever thought that about November before. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. We’ve had some cold days, but I can still enjoy a walk in the woods. The beech leaves will keep their gold hue for maybe a couple more weeks before hanging on to dead, brown leaves for much of winter. There’s a term for that, the hanging on of dead leaves. I learned it in forestry school: marcescence. Think of all the metaphors you could pull from that. I’m afraid I am a bit marcescent myself, but I’m learning to let go.
Larkspur bought that November Hereabout book for the title and cover alone at a used bookshop in Warrenton a couple of weeks ago and gave it to Beatrix for her birthday. We were there for Keats’ concert and it was a fun day for just the two of us. I declared that I am moving there, I loved it so much. Maybe someday? Do any of you live in Warrenton, VA? It’s so lovely!
Beatrix turned 11 last weekend. Some of you have been reading here since she was a baby. Can you believe how the time has flown by? Of all my babies, she might stand out most in my mind. That’s the way it goes with the fussy ones, isn’t it? Seth was a hard one too, nineteen years ago, but I still remember. Keats was baby perfection, I adored him so. Larkspur was so good natured, I don’t remember her ever crying, though I know she must have. She was my only baby that preferred to sleep in a little basket next to the bed rather than with me. Silas, Job, and Mabel, all average tempered as infants though I loved each fiercely and uniquely. And Gabriel, I try not to think of him as a baby because it breaks my heart that I didn’t know him then. I will never even know what he looked like as a baby. He’s the best natured person in my family, or maybe in all the world as far as I’m concerned. He must have been baby perfection. Why do birthdays prompt these thoughts and reminiscences? Beatrix lobbied hard to get her ears pierced this year, but she has to wait until she’s twelve. “Why?” She asks. “Because I had to wait until I was twelve.” I tell her. She doesn’t think that’s a good reason, but I do. I take some strange delight in declaring that something is so for the sake of a tradition.
Thank you so much for all your encouragement and kindness on my last post. I tend to write about hard times when they peak, and I’m starting to feel better. I’m learning that I am very sensitive and have to be more strict with diet and self care. So I’ve been walking in the woods and taking time to sit and stretch and take deep breaths. I like walking in the woods, but it’s hard to have the patience to sit around and breathe deeply. My goodness. But I know I have to do these things, so I am. With the exception of a couple of cups of “emergency” green tea I eliminated caffeine (again) over the last week. I can’t say I really miss the caffeine. I don’t think it was doing much for me. Coffee does, but it also upsets my stomach and gives me headaches, so it’s not worth the energy. I’ve been drinking Teecino dandelion brew and I am quite happy with it, though I do miss my morning cup of Earl Grey.
Last weekend Jonny and I deep cleaned our bedroom and he remarked to me that it isn’t time for spring cleaning. I reminded him that I do this every year. It’s part of how I prepare for Advent: clearing clutter in my environment to make room for all that Advent and Christmas bring. I call this time of year “The Clearing.” I wrote about it here, many years ago, and just reread it. You might want to as well. In November I make space in my home so that I can better spend December making space in my heart for the Christ Child.
p.s. At my lowest energy, I can still manage to dye playsilks because I love them so much. I finished one last batch for the year and I’ll update my shop with them and my second group of scarves on Monday at 4 pm ET. I’ve also got a good bit of soap ready!
p.p.s. Job’s hat is called the Beeswax hat. I highly recommend the pattern! And one last thing: I have moved my email subscriber list to a new platform so if you are subscribed you will notice a difference, though not a huge one. Hopefully you will all continue to receive my posts in your email without a glitch! The emails will look a bit different and I will be sending them out myself rather than it being an automatic thing. Of course, I just messed up and sent my first one out with a link to my last post rather than this one, so you will get two emails today. Sorry!!! There will be a photo from the new post and a little note from me. The only thing I noticed when I sent a test to myself is that I had to click to display the images, and you need to display the images to be able to click over to the post. Let me know if you have any issues!