Sunday, November 05, 2006


It is once again stormy outside. I watch Rain being driven horizontally by Wind; leaving long rivulets of Water on the windows.

And I know the long, dry weather we've had since Summer began to sing is over.

But November storms have their own curious attraction for me. They are the harbingers of a new season...a different rhythm.

The garden is sodden; Leaves that have yet to be raked and placed over the garden beds blanket the backyard. I have waited for all the Leaves to fall, for a long time, it seems. I want to place those Leaves over my garden beds; but stubbornly, even through gale force Winds, they cling to their branches, waiting for the perfect moment to join their companions clustered over the Earth.

My camera does not like wet, windy weather. The battery gives out very quickly. And so, the other morning, I took pictures through the dining room window. The water washing down the windows made the photos look old, as if I had pulled them from an old box filled with memories. They made me feel as if I lived in another place and time.

November can be like that. This year, there was a sudden change from warm, dry weather to the wet and windy days we are now experiencing. This difference in climate took a lot of my plants by surprise.

Roses are still blooming. The Passion Flower Vine, which had too many blossoms to count this year, is still putting out its unearthly bloom, not seeming to mind the very cold or very wet weather we've experienced. In different pockets of the garden, Pansies, Monkshood, and Lavender are still dancing in Wind's concert.

Against all odds, these flowers are still showing their colours. I feel for them...I want to bring them in to the warmth of the house. I have tried to do this before; I know that they will almost instantly curl up and turn brown...the change in temperature too much for them. I leave these stalwart blossoms outside, where they remind me of the season just passed. And where they can find their own rhythm in the scheme of things.

Last week, when we drove to Port Alberni, Trees still had full Fall foliage and Sun still sent his golden rays out of a clear, blue Sky. This week, the road through Cathedral Grove and beside Cameron Lake was covered in a sheet of ground up Leaves; Wind whipped Water from the Lake over the side of the road. Clouds were heavy and dark, banked up against the Mountain Ranges that stand guard over the Lake.

Wind had toppled one of the grand old Trees in the Grove. We saw the raw cuts from the saw on the once proud Tree, when we drove through. It had fallen across the road, hitting a car in the process. Occupants of the car are apparently injured, but alive.

I have always felt extremely vulnerable, travelling through the Grove on a very Windy day. The power of Wind can send branches from the Trees thudding against the roof and hood of my car, and leaves can obscure vision. Driving through the tunnel of trees at these times is a struggle in seems never-ending, my nerves on edge at each turn in the road.

The November Wind proved his power once again this weekend, making my wary awareness of his force justified.

With a strength not to be denied, November's Wind roars out the warning...Winter will come. The cold weather will leave Earth brown, without sustenance enough...and I hear Wind shriek his cautionary tale...telling me to prepare for the cold ahead.

In November, I am not yet tired of hearing Wind shriek; or Rain beating upon the window panes; or Frost and Snow etching sparkling outlines as far as my eye can see. It is a time for laying in Beeswax candles; for bringing out warmer clothing from their summer hibernation. It is the time to light the fire in the evenings.

Winter has not depleted my strength as yet.

But ask me again, in January.


  1. Anonymous1:04 p.m.

    Let's see... November in Houston... I'm in shorts mostly... Sandles... T-shirts...

    My hibiscus that has threatened to bloom all summer has finally broken out in all it's glory... I need to mow desperately... The leaves are falling from the trees, but they get lost in the long grass and I'll turn them into mulch soon with the mower...

    I wish it'd get cold... But it just doesn't seem to want to do that...

  2. Anonymous5:33 p.m.

    Ah November, not Autumn, not quite winter, somewhere in between.

  3. We've finally had the first frost, and our trees have surprised us with their Autumn glory. It was somewhat unexpected this year after such a long drought.

    Enjoy, Marion.

  4. November.. the word says it all.

  5. Yes winter needs to be celebrated to enjoy it. Log fires special clothes, stews and casseroles, wlaks in the snow, roasted chestnuts. They are all part of it. I always suffered with SAD but found that going to the gym and doing energetic things made it disappear.

  6. Anonymous1:16 p.m.

    What a beautiful connection you express to the earth.

    Having a garden and being able to feel the seasons ebbs and flows is such a special and healing thing.

    Your wonderful writing about your garden makes me yearn to get my own again,

    best wishes, The Artist

  7. What a beautiful coloured rose. Amazed that it can bloom when it is so cold.

  8. November really is "somewhere in between". The weather has changed again, since I wrote this...we are in the grip of the Pineapple Express at the moment. This is weather that comes in from the general direction of the South Seas.

    So, we have soft, lilting breezes and warm wonderful sunny weather, which will change tonight. The forecast is, once again, for cold and ice.

    I'm working in the garden, while I can!

  9. beautiful photographs! Love the rose. I love autumn, just wish it was a little colder and less rain here. :)

  10. Anonymous6:26 p.m.

    What a wonderful area you live in Marion, although I understand how the grove must press on you when the winds are strong.
    The rose is beautiful and I do like that olde worldy look to the photo too. Enjoy your November. I've enjoyed reading your post, as always.

    November should be a grey windy month here too with the ground covered in leaves, but everywhere there are leaves that are still green, impatiens and geraniums are still in bloom beneath blue skies and sunshine, albeit there is a chill to the air.
    When the wind does blow though, the song in the trees like waves is so captivating. I think we are in for a shock soon when November arrives in ernest.

  11. That rose was so amazing! I couldn't believe how large the bloom was and the colours were quite different from its earlier bloom, with more silver and white than pink.

    When I worked in the garden, I noticed how much November weather is like March weather. One heralds the oncoming Winter and the other sings the song of Spring.

    Both of these months, however, are busy times in the garden! And both have that glorious Wind that tells such wonderful secrets, if I just remember to listen.

  12. Anonymous3:47 p.m.

    Marion, I wanted to wrap your post around me and savor the warmth I felt for those winter days where even we southerners take on a chill. Spring comes earlier here. Yet, it is still as eagerly anticipated.

  13. Anonymous7:54 p.m.

    Wonderful post, Marion. The picture of the rose is exquisite. I have never looked at a treed lane as ominous, but I can see where it would be nerve wracking to drive through one frequently in high winds.

  14. Anonymous12:38 p.m.

    You could be here - my roses are still in bloom - albeit rather windswept and waterlogged.

    You reminded me of one of my favorite songs - November Rain - I must look it out.

  15. Your roses are hardy, indeed! Lovely images. I love this time of year, too. Cold rain is very nice if only because it sends us indoors!

  16. We are going through severe weather with thunder, lightening, rain and hail that I have no doubt is linked to the fires in Southern California. Your post as always very well written added to the memories that I will take with me of our first real rain in months!

    I am visiting via the BLOG VILLAGE Fall Fest Carnival!!! Carnival goers...Remember to vote and rate for Marion and CyberCelt over in BLOG VILLAGE!

  17. Anonymous5:10 a.m.

    We had frost last night, but my roses are still blooming!

  18. I enjoyed your essay on November the first time around, and now I'm getting to enjoy it again on our BLOG VILLAGE Fall Fest Carnival. Thanks for entering it!!