"November -- the word suggest chilly, gray days, rain, spitting snow, maybe a little sleet, occasionally an early snow storm. November is not an inviting thought. But that does November a disservice. November is not so different than we septagenarians. So far, in thirteen days, we've had a nasty nor-easter, and this week three beautiful warm days with gentle sun and no chilling breeze at all. Mellow -- that's the word for November so far, well, mellow with moments of fierce reminders that far worse will come when winter really begins.
I know people like that -- well, honestly I feel like that. I have just written a found poem from today's newspaper that is in the fierce mode, called "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid" a report about drones as weapons that, not in the future, but today, strike targets based only on data in their software -- without human intervention. The deadly weapon chooses a target "efficiently" says the article. Yes, and the atom bomb that destroyed Hiroshima was efficient too, I think. It's scary and I am afraid of weapons like drones. We WILL have wars in this century -- worse wars than we witnessed in the past century -- as surely as we will have at least one blizzard this coming winter. I am very afraid for the world and for many people I will never meet in parts of the world I will never visit. I am afraid of the weapons industry and the men who strive for "efficiency".
That's the harsh side. But there is a warm side. Rachel and I walked around Hathaway's pond (stopping a moment to look at the rippling water from this vantage point) early yesterday morning. It was a quiet, 50 degree morning. The path was carpeted with fallen leaves. We had much to catch up on since we're both busy with our various commitments. It was a lovely walk. At one place where the path went downhill steeply, we looked at the leaf-covered slope and she said to me, "Be careful, shuffle down. There are roots and rocks." I knew that. I did wish I'd brought my trekking pole because I have a small fear of falling. But I knew in that instant that she is very aware of my age and was as a thoughtful and dutiful daughter caring for me. That was very kind; and it was (maybe not the first) hint that someone is taking care of me as I grow older. I had no difficulty on the slope but I'm aware that the next time I walk around that pond (which I sometimes do alone), I will have with me both my trekking pole and my cell phone. I don't stumble and fall, I am sure footed, but I am too old to take foolish chances. So my experience of the good autumn days, beautiful, serene is nevertheless mixed as is November. The season is advancing, my age is advancing, it's a fact, simply that. I have no fears about winter but, of course, I have warm home and someone else will remove the snow. I have adequate clothing and I have always appreciated the beauty of winter's snow. I like taking walks after winter storms - that leads to other timely thoughts.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!