Bitter November

I don’t know what it is, but November always wipes me out. Every year.

It’s a hard time of year for me. The rains set in in earnest (which is serious, here in Vancouver); everything feels like an uphill slog. If I were astrologically inclined – which I am not – I’d have some theory about Scorpio being out to get me with pincers and stinger, and then old Sagittarius finishing off what’s left of me with his bow. In the absence of hocus-pokery, I guess I have to assume it’s some kind of tedious daylight-length sensitivity, or the fact that here in Canada our Thanksgiving is much earlier, leaving us no holiday to break up the intractable gloom between Halloween and Christmas.

(Yes, yes, there is Remembrance Day. That doesn’t really dispel the gloom, though, does it.)

Whatever the case may be, November is a time of year where I have to be extra kind to myself. One of the ways I do that is to uncork some bottled sunlight in the form of music. It’s time for the old favourites – just like Christmas is for some people (why do the depths of winter weigh less upon my heart? I do not know). Here’s what I’ve been listening to this month:

Ancient Airs and Dances, by Respighi
Fish Out of Water, Chris Squire
Foxtrot and Trespass, Genesis
Mariners, Tri Yann

And the grande olde favourite, the song I always end up at, no matter where I begin: “A Nest of Stars“, by Iarla Ó Lionáird. I should write a whole post about that song. Another day, perhaps, when I’m not still fending off November with a pitchfork.

But look! Here comes December, before the week is out. And the sun is out today, which is a nice change. Whatever its other shortcomings, November does end, and usually on time.

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