The flowers are blooming in that big patch of flowers that looks just like a garden of weeds. Most of the flowers are dead now, having long since given their blooms to the bees and their scent to the air and withered. The grass that was so tall, so green, so bushy and strong, now bends brown in the wind, offering little resistance, just waiving in whatever direction it’s told. There’s no strength left to fight. But those flowers are blooming anyway. Not many, but some, the few that don’t give up so easily. The few that see sun and feel warmth and ask, why not?
And so they bloom. You have to walk for a while before you will notice them, but they’re there. Blooming. Surrounded by browns and grays of all shades. There is some green still, the just cut lawn still showing off its stripes that I so intently mowed into it all summer and fall. The trees have long since bailed on the notion of a showy fall display. They turned colors, vibrant reds and oranges and so many yellows. But now they’re mostly just bare, the oaks hanging to some brown leaves, the maples still hanging to a few yellows, the other trees, whatever they all are, stripped of anything they had left by the November winds. Everything is failing now. Not dying, but withering nonetheless, and if you had never known this particular change of season you’d fear that this was indeed the end. That death was coming, nearly complete.
But we know better, because this isn’t our first time. We know the greens are replaced by oranges and reds, and those are replaced by brown and gray. The cycle of this season is nearing its completion, and stores are telling us that it’ll be Christmas soon. It’s always like that. There are strange build ups to Halloween, which is a Holiday in the same sense that I am a skilled and delicate ballerina. Thanksgiving is near, we all know that, because it’s getting brown outside and the mornings are crisp, and that wind is blowing. Thanksgiving is coming, Christmas follows right behind, and everything outside is dying, everyone who fears the cold leaving.
Except those few flowers that are blooming in my garden. They don’t really care that snow will cover them after some many more weeks. And when I walk now, the grass is still green and the lake is still blue and the trees are still standing tall and strong. I don’t mind that the brightness of early fall is now past, I relish the browns of November. In fact, this might be my favorite month of the year. Yes, I said it, November with its sometimes rain and oft wind, with its brown trees and browning grass, with its sparse out of place flowers and its bendy grass. This is a month that I would miss. This is a month here that’s unique and rare. This is the only month where we can celebrate sepia tones and still find an unexpected flower blooming in the midst of it all.
This weekend the smoke will hang low in the November air. It’s been hanging low like that often, except for this week when the wind came and blew it away. The wind is settling now, the temperatures rising, the smoke settling low in these small valleys. The leaves are being rakes, blown, burned. The summer things are being put away, fogged and wrapped tight in covers of plastic and canvas. The winter things are being prepared, but we have no use for them now. This is fall, this is the season of harvest and thanks, because November is so much more fall than October could ever hope to be. Enjoy it while it lasts. Walk the paths. Stroll the sidewalks. Sip strong coffee and take it all in. Soon, it will be winter, and these glorious washed out browns and greens will be blanketed in white.