November: the month of “No” but also of “Yes.” Let me explain . . .

When my children were small, one of our favorite books was A Time to Keep, written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. A section is devoted to each month of the year, delightfully illustrated with old-fashioned pictures and the ubiquitous presence of Corgis, a favorite thing for us since we are a “Corgi family.”

November’s opening quote is “No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!” (quoted from Thomas Hood) The “no” month, especially poignant in the sparse bareness of a northern November.

But November is also a “Yes!” month, the month of Thanksgiving, when we remember all the blessings we have received. Even in difficult, painful years, the blessings are many – the friends who sustain us, the warmth of home and hearth, the basic goodness of so many people in our daily lives.

This brings to mind a book that has recently come to my attention: To Bless the Space Between Us, by John O’Donohue. It contains blessings written specifically for all occasions, states of mind – a book to treasure and keep close at hand. From the introduction: “The word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable. Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit that secretly links it to everything else. Though suffering and chaos befall us, the can never quench that inner light of providence.”
In this time of shortening days and “no,” I wish you “yes” – the awareness of blessings that surround you, uphold you, nurturing the ever-unfolding cycle of life.
Blessings to you all – Gwen

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