Well, hello November
“The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night,
Ya-honk! he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation:
The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen closer,
I find its purpose and place up there toward the November sky.”
– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1855, I Celebrate Myself, Line 238
There is the Autumn that is known to all of us. Leaves change from green to yellow, red, orange and brown. The birds fly south in large V’s, spanning the sky. Windows begin frosting at night with a soft glow from a fireplace warming chilled bodies.
And then there is the Las Vegas Autumn.
The leaves are still on my Mulberry Tree. When they change they will not turn crimson or orange. They will turn yellow and will fly off in a flurry on one windy November afternoon, leaving the tree abruptly naked for four more months. I see very few birds flying in a V formation towards the south. In fact, I see that probably once every couple years. But when I do, it is amazing to me. And as far as the cozy fireplaces go, we don’t think about using ours until the middle of December.
But, if there is one thing I think of in Autumn is how the world around me slowly goes silent, like Mother Nature uses Autumn to turn down the volume of her music. The crickets become sparse and start to retire, the birds disappear from one day to the next, and our sometimes 75 degree weather gets a little nippy at night, sending children and their parents into their homes sooner.
As much as I love the idea of Autumn that Mr. Whitman paints for me, I still love a Las Vegas November and it’s own blue November Sky.