Well ... November to me is a morose month - gray, drab, damp and cold. It's a Nothing month; a pit between vibrant, dancing October and joyful, memory-making December. It could be that I have made it into a major disappointment in my mind because I am so in love with October. Perhaps I feel it would be disloyal to her, considering our intense relationship. December has my attention for reasons other than nature. The internal and eternal light of Christmas offers a soft glow that feeds me. November has offered me nothing. November is a shroud that hangs over me, enveloping me with its grayness. I am not a fan of grayness. November is IT to me, not SHE. October, she dances. December, she glows. November, it hangs.
This year is remarkable. I have not even been able to use the November quote on my Daily Muse blog because that type of day has not yet come. If it weren't for the bareness of the trees, I could call this Indian Summer.
I have been looking for things to do outside each day, even though I should be up my studio, focused on the task at hand. I have been sitting on my back porch, in awe and gratitude. People from the south would not begin to understand what I'm talking about, but people around here surely do.
So ... the other day, I was 'sitting in awe' and the lake called me. She said 'COME! Come before it's too late!!!!' I try to listen to my inner voices, which actually is what keeps me going in circles for the better part of my days. I asked two photographer friends if they wanted to run away with me and spend the afternoon on a photo shoot excursion at the lake. When the weather is so unseasonably warm, our first thought is that we need to focus on all that yard work that we often get stuck doing in the bitter cold, or the Christmas decorating that usually has to be done with mittens on. So when my friends said 'SURE!', I was delighted. I wasn't overly surprised as they are spontaneous and adventuresome friends - MY kind of people - that's why they are My Friends. They are also very rich in wisdom - knowing that an afternoon spent with friends who share a passion, will carry us further than a raked lawn or clean windows.
It was glorious. The sky was October blue. The waves, which can be as crashing as the ocean, were quietly lapping in a meditative rhythm. There were brilliant golden leaves lit up at the tops of the poplar trees. They were like celebratory flags, remnants of the autumnal bliss refusing to give way to November. In the distance, it looked more like an illusion of mist than the real thing. It was a soft and gentle day all round.
There were treasures found. Interesting rocks and sand scrubbed driftwood but the most significant was a beautiful piece of rare aqua beach glass. A gem that had been tossed and churned for countless days and then graciously deposited right at the feet of a grateful treasure seeker.
Although together, we were each in our own space and time. The lake allows that.
There were very few people there, which added to our feeling that we owned the day and the place. But we watched with interest, a group of young people, in and out of the water in little boats. It was apparent that the group had a purpose, and when we walked by we were a little taken aback by an obviously lifeless body bound up in blanket. We couldn't let that go without asking, so a nice young man explained that they were shooting a movie and that was 'Henry'. We wondered whether Henry was being dumped or recovered, but he couldn't or wouldn't say. The young man, I mean - Henry wasn't talking at all.
Although it was too late for poor old Henry, we wished the young man well and carried on with our own mission - capturing the day.
Generally, in my mind, there is nothing to take pictures of in November. Dry and dead leaves, sad and hopeless flowers, withered vines... even the naked trees that I actually do admire, are sullen against the drabness of a timeless sky. Unless they have light and shadow they do not dance and they do not speak to me. But this day, they not only spoke, but they sang on our evening drive home. It was a strangely moody tune of hazey pink that made all three of us feel that we had been transported to somewhere foreign and exotic. It was too elusive to capture, which is appropriate as it was a feel rather than a vision.
November, you have redeemed yourself in my eyes. You have showed me that there can be another dimension to absolutely everything, even to drabness. I greatly appreciate your gift to me. I wonder though, was that gift, that lesson more about ME than it ever was about YOU. About ME taking the time to see and appreciate what is in front of me - black or white, colour or gray, naked trees or vibrant. About ME needing to be told again and again and again: "Everything is something."