I am not a huge fan of November.
At the start of the month the clocks go back, which means it suddenly gets dark in the late afternoons. By the middle of the month it’s back to being dark in the mornings as well, so the time change never seems to have achieved anything useful (as opposed to when we spring forward and suddenly it seems like there is so much daylight in the day).
It is usually grey and often rainy. I like rain and I like jumping in puddles, but November’s rain always seems colder and more miserable.
It’s late in the semester, so I’m tired and my students are tired. They struggle to focus and take in the new information (if they’ve come to class at all), and we’re not even halfway through the year.
Most of the leaves are down but we usually don’t have good snow yet.
All of the weather that lifts my spirits in the spring (above freezing but below ten degrees, lots of rain, bare trees and sleeping gardens) does the opposite at this time of year, because I know we’re sliding forward into the long dark, rather than emerging from it.
And yet, I also know that I wouldn’t love spring as much as I do, wouldn’t feel that overpowering sense of awe, that riotous joy, that strikes with the first flush of green on the trees and the first flowers in the garden, if we didn’t have the winter that came before.
E. is excited about winter. He’s looking forward to Christmas. He’s desperate for snow.
And so I am trying to mentally rehabilitate November. In the spirit of “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”, I’m testing out “there’s no such thing as a bad month, only a bad attitude”.
Today it may feel unbearably cold outside (-13 at the moment with wind chill) compared to the weather we’ve been having, but the sky is clear and the sun and is bright and I walked through a carpet of still-green leaves dusted with snow on my way to work this morning.
Do you also struggle with November?