From the desk of...


Suddenly it is November. The weather is already cold and wet, and the time change makes the drive home after work darker and somehow a little bit unnerving.

With the change of calendar I am always reminded of our Grade Two class’ favourite poem:

“No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
November! ”

(Thomas Hood)

And yet the memories of summer are not that long ago… our staff spent the end of our day at the farm relaxing at Crescent Beach – soaking the end of summer into our work weary selves enough to sustain us through the darkening days and escalating chores of the school year.

Now at the beginning of November, when the tempest tossed trees are leafless and when the rain battered gardens beyond my windows seem lifeless, it is so important to look for the light and cheer I stored away. It’s there for you too – no matter how deep down…

“Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light.” (Theodore Roethke)

Find the light of summer there to guide you through the darker days. Look out at the horizon and find inspiration.  Breathe in the autumn air and know that summer still lives in it – it is all around us and fills our lungs with life as we journey through the seasons…

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”

I remember this being my mother’s favourite bible passage when I was small.  (A child of the mid-century revolution, she sang along with the Byrds version often and this is how it lingers in my memory…)  As I read it now with my “grown up” eyes I see so much more beauty in the simplicity of these words…  This is it.  This life, this November, this memory of summer – this is one moment and this is forever.  The seasons change and time changes but we have only to be happy, to do good, and to find satisfaction in our toil…

“What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. (Ecclesiastes 3)”

We ended our day at Crescent Beach in the tiny little church – Star of the Sea, of course – contemplating the work to be done and the burdens to bear over the seasons ahead.  Although we can’t fathom what is to come, although we may not see the beauty in the moments, we serve with happy hearts because we carry it all together, and with it the eternity of the human heart.


2 thoughts on “November…

  1. “When you have learned to live, life itself is the reward” Harold Kushner
    You will love his book When Everything You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough. He talks about the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles, like Thanksgiving, its a celebration of things that don’t last, the required reading is The Book of Ecclesiastes.


  2. In the end there are only three things that last… Faith, hope, love… And the greatest of these is love! The more years I am privileged to live the more grateful I am, the more hopeful I am, the more I grow in empathy… I am lucky you loved these words so much. They have a new significance for me today! (also, super excited about reading again! Now that I can stay up late enough to consume grown up content I am voracious about it!)

    Liked by 1 person

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