I have a book of Celtic/Irish poetry and in it there is a poem about late November. I’m too lazy to get it now. Not really lazy—contented. My baby is sleeping way past the usual time. The air is slightly chilly, the yard filled intermittently with golden sunlight or gray haze. Two cats are chasing butterflies in the backyard. I’m only beginning to plumb the depths of Spotify’s music collection, especially on the esoteric and drumming side. I just ate a biscuit slathered with butter and honey and drank too-sweet-too-milky tea with it. A pretty awesome afternoon.
I took an unintentional break from most things internet in November. I didn’t even do NaNoWriMo this year, which kind of broke my heart. But I knew once October 31st rolled into November 1st that I didn’t have the juice for anything more than existence in November. It turned out to be a wise choice. Not that anything bad happened—thank gods—for one month this year everything was just…normal. No miscarriages. No car wrecks. No financial strain. No trying to make a baby. No travel. Nothing. Just life. Boring old life. Even though that meant giving up my beloved NaNo, it was…kind of amazing.
I returned to things that I normally do. I started weight-lifting again, running sprints, turning my eating back towards normal and balanced. I had the pleasure of staying at my parents’ house for a week, and they took care of Claire while I visited with some great, longtime friends. Like I said. Everything was normal. And that normalcy was…kind of amazing.
But now it’s that time of year when I feel things spiraling into the dark (in a good way, non-pagan readers, in a good way). It’s just that time of the year. The trees down here are finally releasing their leaves. The sunshine is at once weak and yet over-exposes every surface it lights on. Night comes early. Mornings are foggy. Once again we’re in drought—no rain in Austin for the whole month of November, actually—and that’s another kind of death.
On the spiritual/religious side of things, November was very even keel. My altar has a thick layer of dust, no lie. So do my cards and journal. I’ve been reading a very complicated book—RJ Stewart’s Underworld Initiation—and I kind of love it. It’s kind of crazy, but also kind of brilliant and also kind of obvious all at the same time. It’s definitely food for thought.
I’ve been attending the North Austin Pagan Meetup since August, and the November meet was by far my favorite. See, “they” forgot to change the date so there was some confusion, and in that confusion only about 10 people showed up. Usually anywhere between 35-50 attend the meetup. The first part was a bit awkward, truth told, because of the unexpected intimacy of the situation. So we got to know each other a little bit, then after about an hour a man, V, asked about a spirit situation in his house. So that got us all talking and we chatted on into the night about spirits and the land and all sorts of things that one can only really talk about in the presence of other p/Pagans. Comfortably, anyway.
Now, after a renewing November, I’m ready for the Yule season. I’m actually getting pretty excited to put up our small tree and decorate with our little ornaments. Claire is now at the age where the holidays are a joy. I can’t wait for her little, “ooo!” when we light up the tree! Later tonight I’ll order some Solstice storybooks off of Amazon (we need a change from October’s Room on the Broom, cute as it is…). And tonight, with the low slung clouds and increasing fogginess, I’ll go on a run and visit with Niana for a bit.
Hope this dark season is finding you all well!