Ever since I was young, I’ve loved November. Though I also love October, and September, and all the -bers, really.
The clue’s in the name. Ber. Brr. Cold.
I am a child of wind and snow. I always attribute that to my birth in Seattle, but it goes farther than that. Like my pale skin is a throwback to some icy past. Like ice and driving rain and wind are in my veins.
Maybe in a past life I was a peasant in the Siberian wilderness. An Eskimo. A snow otter. Whatever the truth of the matter, I am always more comfortable in cold weather.
When the wind begins to brisk, my whole being perks up. It’s like something inside awakens, and sniffs the air, and my mind and soul seem taller. There’s a spring in my step and a renewal of hope in the world when the cold begins.
Crunching leaves. Dark branches of bare trees. Grey, cloudy days. Wind whistling through windows. Fireplaces. Blankets. Frosted eyelashes. Boots covered in snow. Breath visible. Hands shaking.
These are a few of my favorite things.
When I was seventeen, I went on a mission trip to Russia in January, when it was cold enough to freeze the inside of bare nostrils. I loved it, and soon enough acclimatized to the temperatures.
When I was in Korea and the snow came, before the cars threw it into sludge on the roads, I loved the soft sound of walking to school through snow, carefully, delicately, while the world slept and dreamed.
We talk of eternal summers, and I get it – the freedom and laughter and joy summer evokes. But in me there is an eternal winter – peaceful quiet bliss, clean, pure as the driven snow, and waiting…
I once had a dream to chase winter, as some people chase summer, all over the globe and across hemispheres, to be in snow year round. Perhaps someday I will. Perhaps my dream of herding reindeer in Finland will pan out.
Until then, I satisfy myself with hoodie dresses and opening the windows of my Texas home to let in all the cold I can.
November is the grey month.