November and March might be my favorite months of the year. Both demand little of us and center on holidays -- Thanksgiving and St. Patrick's Day -- that revolve around eating and drinking and not much else.
November is past lawn mowing and raking, but before snow shoveling. It's past pumpkin carving, but before present buying.
November is past baseball and before bowl games. The Milwaukee Bucks have not yet been eliminated from the playoffs.
It is quiet.
Days dawn faintly, slowly in wispy cloudiness, and often end in long, solemn shadows. Dark, bare branches frame a sky that can seem so dark and low that it touches the treetops, or so blue and distant that it seems to pull you away, off the planet.
On Saturday, I'll sit in tree stand in a woodlot atop a hill in southwest Wisconsin and listen for the sound of a deer, rustling through the leaf fall. If I hear it my heart will pound. If I see it and it's a clean, clear shot, I may take it. Or not. If I hear and see nothing I may nap a little. It doesn't matter all that much.
I will spend the whole day in those woods, barely moving at all. Just listening and watching from before dawn until sunset. Near the end of the day a light so thin and gentle will filter in to my stand. The day will be fading away as deliberately as it arrived. I can imagine there will be a sliver or two of blue sky in a heavy dark blanket above, maybe creating shafts of light streaming in through the trees.
I'll unload my rifle, climb from the stand, and walk down the hill to the farmhouse where a fire will be raging away in the pot bellied stove. After a day of total solitude, with nothing but some coffee, a sandwich, a nap, and maybe a deer sighting or two, it will be good to be in the company of friends.
November is like that. Quiet. Simple. Demanding all but nothing, which give us time for everything.
Have a good weekend.