Thursday, November 5, 2009


posted by Mary Lello, Thursday, November 5, 2009, 6:00 AM

November. Always such a stark month. This morning the air was alive with golden, dancing leaves as they were pulled from their branches by the November wind. The leafless branches look so bare now and click against each other in the cold air. I took a moment to watch the leaves falling, so many of them twisting and occasionally rising up and spinning on some unseen gust of warm air. They reminded me of little brown birds that flitter and swoop. Perhaps the bird is mimicking a falling leaf? One way to avoid a big hawk from barreling down and snatching you if you're mistaken for an Oak leaf falling.

Annie Dillard once wrote "If I'm a Maple Key falling at least I can twirl". I thought of this as I watched the Oak leaves twirl to the ground below. Perhaps I need to twirl just a bit more these days. Perhaps that is all that is being asked of me at times - to just let it go, release my hold and twirl.

I need a billowing skirt with at least 2 petticoats underneath it though.

We're coming up on 1 year as we enter the month of November. Last November Jim went out to stay with Stacie in California and would call me at night. I remember one night when he called, I was in bed as he had forgotten the 3-hour difference in time and he sounded so crazy. I tried to calm him down and before we hung up he sounded better. Then he forgot to disconnect his iPhone and I laid on my bed and listened to him in California crying and yelling at himself on some freeway while in the car.

Ah yes, the tumor had taken hold but we all thought he was headed for a nervous breakdown. If only that was all it had been.

November is such as stark month. The colors are draining from the trees, their branches lay gray and dormant against a gray sky. My crows are easier to see in their roosts, black shadows against all this pewter grayness. Cardinals stand out like strikingly beautiful red flags as they fly into the ever green rhododendrons, taking my breath away with this flash of color.

Red flags. I think I will always see sudden change in emotional behavior as a red flag from now on. Before I had said to our brain surgeon that 'nobody thinks of a brain tumor but YOU!' .... but I will forever think of a brain tumor from now on. I now flinch at a headache, another red flag, and worry if it doesn't go away with a simple pain killer. I sleep fitfully, always listening as best as a hearing impaired person can listen, with my body tense, even in sleep, and I wake frequently waiting for the clock to to show me an early morning hour that feels OK to crawl quietly out of bed - finally.

November is a stark month. All the brown leaves lying on brown grasses. Everything seems to be just waiting for the first snow fall to add a new sparkle to the landscape and a protective covering to the Earth and all those who hide within her for the winter months.

And what am I waiting for? A friend who enjoys the Sunday paper again, who is quick witted and able to make me laugh from deep within my soul. Who will ask me to get out in the dark morning and run the trails with him and I'll groan but I'll do it and feel so good once I'm out there and happy he asked me .... happy that he's still with me. I'm waiting for a new life, or our old life renewed.

Maybe it's time to just let go, to let be, to let it all just happen as it will. To stop waiting, to release my hold, to allow Life to step in, to unfold my tightly clenched being and dance in the wind, to ride the currents up and up and .... twirl.

This is my November,


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