It seems like just a short time ago I was busy in the garden, enjoying the warm sunshine and the work of preparing the garden for winter. My cover crops are planted and happy with the cool and the rain. All is settled in the garden, but I find myself feeling rather blue. We have turned our clocks back, the skies are very gray most days, and the drenching rains have returned. I miss my gardening time outdoors!
So, as late Fall and early Winter settle in, it is time to refocus my energies on projects, plans, and reading. My friends-in-books bring me solace as I mourn my summer gardening time, and remind me to keep things in perspective… May Sarton gently reminds me to be patient with the winter darkness, for “Without darkness, nothing comes to birth, As without light, nothing flowers.” And one of my favorite poets describes a lot about my own November doldrums but celebrates this seemingly bleak time of year.
My November Guest
~by Robert Frost
My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, with its very gray and rainy winters, could be very gloomy indeed, but despite my melancholy, I share much of Robert Frost’s beautifully described love of bare November days. I, too, love my soggy walks in the beauty of those stark days–walks along sodden paths with bare, withered trees, and under heavy skies…