Fall is my favorite season. It’s quite different down here in central Mexico, but the cold nights and damp, misty mornings hint at the November that I love back in Canada.
We are using the gas fires more often and throwing on extra blankets at night because the nights in fall and winter in the high desert 6,500 feet above sea level, get very cold. Last year temperatures hit 3 Celsius (37.40 F) one night.
The blanket store is now sold out of warm, cheap Mexican blankets that I love. And in the evening I can smell someone’s wood-burning fireplace over the canyon, up the road.
In the garden, we even have an odd leaf turning yellow and red on the Virginia Creeper running amok on the brick walls of the casita. (I have to confess that I had a bit of a homesick meltdown yesterday–again [#382 and counting…, or was that #1,382?)
Another difference is, there are no signs of the migrating Snow Geese that make their annual rest-stop in the delta near Vancouver as they head south for the winter (hence the nickname “Snow Birds” for Canadians and Americans that also head south); however, there are many more butterflies now–especially Monarchs–that have done the same and come to rest, warm-up and cocoon in the Michoacan hills where they arrive by the millions. Once in a while in our neighbourhood, we get the odd one who has flown off course. For me, to see one, is part of my childhood mythology from the Chilcotin, high ranch country summers where I grew up. I still stop and marvel at the beauty every time I see one.
But so far, though, no hint of snow. I keep hoping for the rare event here as a special Christmas memory for all the children, as I did last year. (Here is me in Mexico, THINKING SNOW…! I’m Canadian, eh?!)
I’m sure you too can remember poems that you loved as a child, so I share with you some of the ones I still think of every time November rolls around.
THE MIST AND ALL ~ by Dixie Willson
“I like the fall
The mist and all
I like the night owl’s lonely call
And wailing sound
Of wind around
I like the gray
And dead, bare boughs that coldly sway
Against my pane
I like the rain
I like to sit
And laugh at it
And tend my cozy fire a bit
I like the fall
The mist and all.”
ONE MISTY, MOISTY MORNING ~ from The Only True Mother Goose Melodies (c. 1833)
“One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment, and I began to grin,
How do you do, and how do you do?
And how do you do again?”
SOMETHING TOLD THE WILD GEESE ~ by Rachel Lyman Field
“Something told the wild geese
It was time to go;
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, – ‘snow’.
Leaves were green and stirring,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, – ‘frost’.
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly -
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.”
MEASURE ME, SKY! ~ by Leonora Speyer
“Measure me, sky!
Tell me I reach by a song
Nearer the stars:
I have been little so long.
Weigh me, high wind!
What will your wild scales record?
Profit of pain,
Joy by the weight of a word.
Horizon, reach out!
Catch at my hands, stretch me taut,
Rim of the world:
Widen my eyes by a thought.
Sky, be my depth;
Wind, be my width and my height;
World, my heart’s span:
Loneliness, wings for my flight!”
As November closes and the Advent / Christmas season begins, just a gentle reminder in all the rush and hustle of holiday preparations:
go for a walk in nature,
stoke the home-fires,
remember small kindnesses from the past,
give your love and blessings to those close to you,
don’t forget the ones who have nothing and need so much,
and remember to pray your ‘Thank You’s’ for all the small wonders
you’ve received over the past year.