November is breaking records. We crept cautiously out of October into November this year, reveling in the gift of a mild streak of several days that made us feel pleasantly autumnal, crisp days, and the sun's continued warmth day after day, light rain, skies a mixed splatter, grey with streaks of blue. Suddenly, as if the heavens had turned a crank, a deep freeze crashed into our euphoria, battering us overnight with wind, snow and frigid temperatures. My granddaughters in college in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and upstate New York sound both alarmed and energized. I called them to make sure that they were adequately protected, resisting the urge to send them an avalanche of warm clothing they probably don't need. Always a little stressful to navigate the difference between being a parent and rising to be a grandparent, so full of love, but no longer quite needed.
As for me, I am battling an overwhelming urge to hibernate, to snuggle deep into covers and pillows, drift into semi-conscious denial of the fierce arrival of another winter. As the month has progressed, we fell back into a gentler clime. The winds hurled big gusts at the trees, robbing them of the last bronze leaves and leaving them swirling in the air and on the street. It's a strange autumn. So many dissonant stridencies swirl around us like the swirling leaves. Politics and violence dominate the news. All over the world, leadership is changing, and the change is to less civility and more rage.
Yes, hibernation would be the answer if it were only possible. I could close out the raucous dealings of a world in strife and the sudden bursts of memory that strike such pain in my heart. Such a difficult time of year. Two years ago we were a family, entire in its celebration of my 80th birthday, and a month later we were broken, losing a part of ourselves forever. I cannot find peace.