I spent the holiday with my family, and an unexpected highlight of our days were some walks in the woods near the cottage where we stayed. There’s never anyone else there, so the dogs run off-leash, tearing up and down the path. One day it was just Tim and me; one day his father joined us. We saw the skin of ice barely formed on the pond. We saw the rich brown oak leaves, still sturdy and intact, carpeting the woods and trails. We saw the strong blue sky and clouds that hinted of snow, and the flat quality of the light that is always present in New England winters. We saw the bare, moss-covered trees; the odd hardy plant that still held its green leaves; the sandy ground that still gave under our feet, not yet frozen to rock-like hardness; the mist that lay above the ground at night.
And I thought of this poem by Robert Frost, so perfect for these days as we feel the first kiss of winter, the landscape settling into its bare and harsh hibernation, the December holidays still before us, all the winter still to come, the coming of the snow.
My November Guest
My sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.
I hope you had some grace and goodness this Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you soon as we get ready for the challenge and charms of the month ahead.
See you in church,
Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay, Minister
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday