November Sunshine and Fallen Frosted Leaves

There is now no denying, my waking days begin in darkness. I am up before the sun. And by mid-afternoon the curtains must be closed against the encroaching evening chill. It is harder to stay focused and motivated as I sit down to work. My mind wanders and the call to hibernate is strong. Most days have been grey, grey, grey, which makes me even less likely to be productive. What a blessing then, when the sun appears vibrant over the crest of the hill and illuminates a world glittering with frost. Welcome November sunshine!

We are on the seasonal threshold, betwixt and between Autumn and Winter. In the woods, the trees still bear a surprising quantity of leaves. It is said that lingering leaves in November foretell a hard winter ahead. It is true that my fingers are already safely enclosed in my thick winter gloves. Winter is nipping at the extremities. I’m hoping Winter brings snow, real snow, rather than endless rain. There is no snow on these hills just yet, but it feels ever more likely the day will come soon.

With Wintry glee, Jack Frost paints the car with intricate feathery patterns. An inconvenience on busy school mornings when the windscreen must be scraped before leaving home. As if the dark mornings weren’t enough to contend with! But it does seem a shame to remove such loveliness. Far better to awake to a frost on an unhurried day. Then time can be spent admiring the way the frost forms on fallen leaves, enhancing their ethereal beauty. Enjoying the sensory pleasure of scrunching through an icy crust into the soft squelchy mud below. Up to my ankles in the stuff at certain points along the path.

First Frost © Bryony Whistlecraft | Frosted Fallen Leaves © Bryony Whistlecraft |

The mud indicates the amount of rain that has lately fallen. And with the rain comes the dreary grey. However on those mornings when we awake to November sunshine, my spirit immediately soars. The woods are the only place to be. The sunshine feels warm against my skin as I close my eyes and raise my face to the sky. The leaves glowing golden and amber as the low slanting sunrays shine through branches. On these days I’m glad Autumn is lingering, not quite ready to relinquish to Winter’s bare branches just yet.

November Sun, Hardcastle Crags © Bryony Whistlecraft | November Sun, Hardcastle Crags © Bryony Whistlecraft | November Sun, Hardcastle Crags © Bryony Whistlecraft | November Sun, Hardcastle Crags © Bryony Whistlecraft |

Writing this I feel somewhat betwixt and between too. There is joy and beauty in both Autumn and Winter. While I wish for snow I’m not quite ready for the realities of it yet. The urge to spend cosy days inside is strong. However, the light in the trees and the crunch of leaves underfoot draws me into the woods again and again…

I’m resolved to take each day as it comes. Autumn one moment, Winter the next. Living in the moment. Soaking up that November sunshine when it shines and appreciating the icy cold frost patterns in their turn. And on the days when we’re gifted with both? Well, I will head outside to savour all the pleasures that magic combination brings.

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