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Thursday, November 3, 2022

Spirituality: November is my favorite month

 The month of November has arrived in Boston with temperatures that reached close to 70 degrees. It was a quite comfortable day. A pleasant weekend is on tap with continuing sunshine and warmth. November is often maligned and I want to share the reasons it is my favorite month.

As a photographer, I look for the best lighting to take photos. During a single day, the hour around dawn and dusk are the best times for lighting. One can capture plays of light and its accompanying shadows, and the best views of our world are captured during this time. Well, November is the dusk of the year, and therefore, it is a Golden month because of its lighting. The sublime lighting creates a reflective, subdued atmosphere that brings our thoughts to the divine.

With the angle of the sun creating softer lighting, we see that the foliage and landscape is quite rich. While October is often bold and brilliant, November's colors are sophisticated and varied, particularly located within scenic New England. We see tones and hues of browns, fading reds and yellows, and darker oranges. The golden strands of decorative grass accentuate the earthtones in pleasant complimentary arrangements. It is a choice artist's palette. It creates a peacefulness that the earth is in agreement with itself. It's time of change is over and the world can come to a place of rest, silence, and stillness.

For Christians, the celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day inaugurate the month of remembrance of All Souls, incorporating Veterans Day, a national day of memorial, and a time of thanks, the great feast of gratitude. We become more greatly attuned to the world around us, the world of the living and the dead, reminding ourselves that all are alive to God. It is a month of goodwill where we find our rightful place in the rhythm of the world that belongs to a Creator God. We are reminded of our mortality and see it as a natural occurrence in life. 

It is true that the clocks revert to standard time and we set our clocks back an hour that ushers in more darkness in the afternoon while gaining more daylight in the morning hours. Darkness seems to encroach and many people are reluctant to go outdoors for walks. When we befriend the darkness, we find there is so much life continues. In fact, we need the darkness to see the lights that are set up for Advent and Christmas as the last week of the month brings about wonder and delight as people decorate for the holidays. Mostly, we do not notice the darkness for long. 

Many people say that the month is windy and cold. Sure. We can have days of blustery winds, but it is warmer than people think. We might feel a biting wind while watching a football game, but the mistake is in not dressing warmly enough in the first place. Look at people as they go through November. They slow down, they walk through piles of crunchy leaves, they catch the twirling oak leaves while watching v-shaped parades of Canada geese, and they enjoy warm days drinking cider, hot chocolate, and pumpkin lattes. People enjoy the month more than they admit. 

November is a month of slowing down and taking deep breaths. We begin the month with All Saints Day, we get a day off to honor our military veterans, and then we take a collective pause for Thanksgiving Day. After our deep inhale, we turn our excitement to the holiday season and the joy associated with being with family and loved ones. 

November is easily my favorite month. 

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