My website

My website

Monday, October 31, 2011

There is a way to get through November

November in the North is bleak. Leaden sky. Cold air. Whipping wind. Icy rain.

We grumble. This transition from autumn to winter is hard on us.  Once we’re settled into full winter, we gain courage. We become strong. We deal with cumbersome layers of clothing, cold car seats, and chipping ice off windshields.

But November is The Locking: transition time, neither fall nor winter. Mother Nature needs time to lock up for her long sleep to come.

There’s a trick to getting through this grim time. It lies in focusing on SOUND. A wonderful sound is approaching, and it only exists in the COLD. It is our privilege to hear it.

Think about it.

For every season, there is a sound. In March, the night awakes with the chirping of spring peepers – tiny frogs living in a wetland near you. This is my favorite sound in the world. Intoxicating.

Around that time, the morning air is so raucous with bird calls that I need ear plugs to sleep past 4:00 a.m.

In July and August, if you are lucky enough to be near a marsh, the night explodes with the lusty calls of bullfrogs and their mates.

Eventually the frogs calm down and crickets take over: a symphony of chirruping, in different tones and tempos.

If August is hot enough, and it always is where I live, a racket of cicadas fairly splits open the humidity rising from the earth. Their noise is an extended siren. When I hear it, I feel hotter. My mother said, “You only hear ‘heat bugs’ when it’s eighty degrees outside.”

In September, if you close your eyes, you’ll hear two things falling to the earth: apples and acorns. You might even detect a horse chestnut come in for a landing.

In October and November, the most gentle sound of all brushes your ears: leaves falling, falling, falling.

Then from December through February comes the most beautiful sound of all: the sound of silence. The stillness almost hurts your ears on a night right after a snowfall. Moonlight illuminates the white on the ground, on trees and shrubs and houses. You can take a silent walk in the middle of the night and you don’t need a flashlight.

It takes some doing, but we can talk ourselves into looking forward to winter. November is the doorway.

No comments:

Post a Comment