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Friday, November 20, 2009
Warm November Light
Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post, as well as to all who didn’t comment but read it and took it to heart. As a reward to all of us (yes, me, too), today’s post will be mostly pictures, with only a few words.
Often we think of November in cold terms. The temperature is usually colder than it has been this year, but I don’t mean just that. Is it an exaggeration to say that we think of November as a little heartless? Bright autumn leaves are swept away by cruel winds and driving rain, leaving the woods paradoxically dark and bare at the same time, and many’s the day we have to make a special effort to make ourselves “open the door and walk outside” (quiz question: what is my reference here?), as well as to find color in the landscape and reasons for cheerfulness in our own hearts. At the end of the month we have the warmth of Thanksgiving, and that helps a lot.
But when a November morning is lit by the low, raking sun, and the skies behind that brightly lit world are heavy with dark clouds—oh, then the land looks warm! The forest floor covered with dead brown leaves, bare branches of fruit trees glowing rosy, red barns shouting proudly that they are still in service, soft yellow willows and bright yellow road signs--all these gave us, this morning in northern Leelanau County, reasons to smile and sigh.
I was lucky to be out in the light, to have errands in Suttons Bay and Lake Leelanau, giving me a wonderful excuse to drive some different roads for a change. And when I stopped at the Enterprise office to arrange for an ad in next week’s paper (for our book signings on Saturday), fortune did me another good turn, sending me back to Northport with Ken Scott calendars for the bookstore. Because, as you all know, photographer Ken Scott brings color to every month of the year.