It's mid November now, and today the sky is gray and distant. The giant maples in out back yard tower black and naked against the sky. All the leaves are down now, and tiny snow pellets drop from the sky. They don't flat, these pellets, because they are too compact, too dense. The wind catches them, knocking them off their vertical path.
Oddly, the ground is still warm. It must be, because the grass hasn't gone dormant, and the low lying plants of the garden are still green. The yellow color of the fallen maple leaves is creeping into the hosta, which droops on its stems as if exhausted. The Canadian roses, winter hardy and requiring almost no special handling, still glow pinkish red at the end of the long canes. The foliage is beginning to turn brown, from the tips down, a bright colors on a gray day.
It is a day where the fireplace glows temptingly. It is easy to curl up under a blanket, the yellow light of an incandescent reading lamp softening the harsh light from the window. This is a day for bulky sweaters, for shearling slippers, for hot sweet tea and a book.
Winter is dipping its tendrils down from the sky, like drops of ink in water the color of the days change. The people begin to fade into the landscape as well, no longer wearing the dashing, bold colors of summer and fall, pulling out the dark coats, the drab boots, tucking bright hair under warm hoods, hiding light skin inside black gloves.
The children remain bright, as if they are invigorated by the temperature drop, they appear in bright snow suits, with vivid mittens that will stand out when dropped in the snow. They troop in their multicolored variety from the vivid yellow school buses that parade through the streets twice a day.
This is November, revealing her true temperament. She often goes in disguise, casually acting as if a 50 degree day is quite a usual occurrence with her. Or, she tarts herself up in the glitter of the holidays, winking and gleaming from store windows with strings of lights and metallic ornaments. Perhaps November is a chameleon, but even a chameleon has its true color, and today is November showing hers.