November 9, 2020
The rattling of dry leaves on the sidewalk outside my window signals a change in the weather. This unusual (to put it mildly) warm spell has come to an end. The conditions now moving in are still tolerable but more November-appropriate. All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray, as they say.
I hate to think what the past week’s weather means for our changing climate, but it did wonders for my mood. Those who know me well know I don’t hold back about my dislike of November. I’m not a patient person, and I hate waiting that extra month for winter to descend. I’ve often wished we could move straight from the showers of colorful leaves into snowflakes and Christmas lights.
November is traditionally the time when I write things like this : “These past few days I have been thinking that there is nothing to be had[.]” Then, unsure what exactly to do about it, I take a nap.
This kind of thinking stems from time spent alone. Indeed, the vast majority of my past and recent writings are about something I did on my own. Around the time I started walking and journaling in earnest, my dad (my usual hiking companion) was laid up with a broken foot. I got used to walking alone after that; I don’t remember finding it odd. Only now do I realize that I was the only eighteen-year-old hiking the trails around town — and one of the only hikers who didn’t have a friend, spouse, or canine companion along for the trip.
By the time I entered college, I was walking practically everywhere. (Not having a car helps with that.) Those solo walks are enshrined in my journals, and they represent most of my memories of that era. I’m reliving those days now as I continue my pandemic project of typing up old journals. But it was a quick peek at a later entry that netted me this reminder:
“It’s all about the people!… I am caught up in the lives and dynamics of the people around me, no matter how hard I try to stay inside and alone… Maybe someday I’ll get that drilled into my head.
“These past few days I have been thinking that there is nothing to be had, and I feel I am about to be proved wrong once again.”