I always like to share the last part of a Thomas Hood poem at this time of year:
“No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds –
It’s alliteratively filled with no, no and more no’s, but this month also has plenty of yes’s.
Our bird feeder is now frequented by juncos, slate-colored birds who were not here all summer but were nesting and having babies up north. We are their ‘south’, so they’ll hang around until spring. You will also see plenty of wild berries, perhaps with birds helping themselves, as you walk along the edges of fields and forest. And what we may be lacking in duration of sunshine during the day can sometimes be made up for by the longer-in-the-sky moonlight. And don’t forget the colors! On gray, overcast November days observe how a colorful tree, which may have been lost in the color cacophony before the leaves fell, really stands out when left alone. When you take a hike or walk now you can see, with most leaves having fallen, the contours of the landscape, the bare bones of the earth.
It could be fun, as I have found it to be when taking classes outdoors this time of year, to call your little outdoor exploration journey ‘Yes-vember’. Just like we might appreciate the warmth of November’s sun because it is so fleeting, all the yes’s of this month call out to us that much louder against the backdrop of the quieting earth.