November gives found time. Even beyond the illusory hour when we “fall back,” we are offered time to contemplate the change of seasons. Autumn is the season of slow and dramatic change: A few weeks ago the air shimmered with incandescent maple, ash, elm and beech leaves. Now bare branches etch the sky.
Halloween has come and gone; pumpkins slump; asters and chrysanthemums shake out their bright beauty. Herbs of late fall – parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary and lavender – seem in no hurry to shrivel to their essence in dry indoor heat.
Leaves on the canal scarcely move some days and, over the lake, clouds seem to hang ever lower at what should be sunrise.
Commercially, of course, the holidays are already here, with tree decorations winking from corners in stores where one can also still buy spring bulbs for planting this season. Mornings are bright for crisp walks, but daylight scurries away early, leaving a lot more night for reading and contemplation.
This past summer was rough and uncomfortable in enough ways to make us disagree with a line from Robert Frost and say it is “less than a treason to … accept the end … of a season.”