November is a minimalist time. Stark trees. Bare ground. We have raked up the bright fallen leaves and hauled them off to the county compost heap. Pulled the dead flowers from the ground and tossed them in the bin under the bush.
Inside the house, we have stretched plastic film over the front windows and hair-dryered it into place, to keep out winter drafts. Hauled the baskets of mittens and hats out of storage and lined them up on the kitchen bench. (Our 1912 house has no closets on the first floor.)
We took up the straw mat of summer in the living room, and laid down the old plush cherry wool rug, for warmth and color. Started thinking about Christmas: should we put up lights this year? What if I bought my family members each a part of a goat or a cow or a flock of chickens, through Heifer International--would they hate me? (Doug says they would hate me.)
The weather has remained mild. Yesterday over my lunch hour I walked to Loring Park, the sun already low enough, at 1 p.m., to stab my eyes as I walked down the Nicollet Mall. It was warm, nearly 50 degrees, and the sky was the bright blue we missed in October.
Today it is pearl gray and drizzly, but warm enough for a gloveless walk.
Everything feels as if it is waiting ... waiting ... for this: