November is my birthday month


The last few days we have had consistent rain. It is pleasant in Southern California to have days which remind you of Fall in New York and on the East Coast. London. I like moody days reminiscent of the moors, hair blowing, damp conditions, bundling up, hot chocolate, food, books, and the preparation for holidays. When I was growing up, I used to dislike the fact that my birthday was in November. I liked every day, especially Indian Summer days, and all events leading up to, and including, Halloween. Then I felt it was just gray and cold. The leaves had spilt upon the ground, their colors deadened by the wet and frost, trampling, already mulching. Every semblance of life seemed to have drained away from sight, and though I anticipated wintry frost and bounding snow, and everything that is associated with winter, November just seemed to be the springing off point of the diving board and not the climb, not the swan dive and not the invigorating cool splash of water penetrating your skin. Irritating.

But, like the saying that you always do better when you come back to where you were born, regain your strength, like Tara, I have discovered after many years of revisiting my birth month, season, that it is a point during the year when I am at my best in many ways. I heal, I come alive, I seem to have a renewal of energy, and in some years even a sort of deeper sense of the world around me, my progress, place, direction-it is sometimes a very introspective and busy month for me. Much happens. At times, maybe during certain years, after having come to expect this revitalization, I am disappointed if it does not meet my expectations, lackluster. As I grow older I have also been counting on it to happen then, so I find myself now (finally) looking for opportunities this month that I have not noticed before, and have come to expect, so that I may take them, make progress, prepare. So it does not sit very well with me when nothing much happens, it fails to revive sufficiently, or there is no apparent gain. Even so, there is always this self-examination that occurs, which is ultimately rewarding, mandatory and from which I can never escape, but I have learned that I must help myself to it, like pudding or cake. If I fail to eat what is offered, or look for those gifts, then they may allude me. So, I can get a little but testy in November, too, from this minor battle.

Of course many other factors and variables influence this, but it is almost as if I were to be a poker player, then I would just know that I would win in November so some of it has to do with my personal power or strengths I do not usually use, being engaged and ready, flowing. So, I have learned, in my druidic fashion, I pay homage to this month and season in various ways, notwithstanding all mentioned above. It is a tradition, probably my most personal, which like a cat, demands its due, its petting. For me this is a definite spiritual experience, though I really cannot explain it, must I must bow to it, be obsequient, for from it I get perks and rewards, too intangible to name, but immensely gratifying and valuable for the year. I am its servant for this month, must do my duties, and have little control under its power unless I let it guide me and obey it, then I am rewarded. Though I am not the least disturbed by the awareness of it going on around me, I can just feel it, things are slightly different and more readable.

I have not been able to sleep this month very well at all. My whole schedule is off. I have spent a good part of the month thinking and nothing has really come about, so I feel I am in a medium-like state, waiting. A watched pot probably never boils. I am very sensitive, have been greatly affected by other people and moved, but have accomplished very little actually. Many things have happened around me. I woke up this morning, having been thinking during my sleep and got after my oldest son on some matter that had just occurred to me, incidentally. He was shocked and probably hurt that I seemed to attack him on this out of the blue, but as it had just surfaced, it came out. I had literally been holding on to that one in my little pot for almost one year exactly. I cannot really explain it any other way.

All month we have had birthdays, my son’s as well as mine. He also shares my Chinese astrological sign as does my daughter. My mother also did, so at one point there were four tigers in the house, a rat and a monkey! Before that we were 4 tigers a rat and a dragon. The dragon now lives in his dragon lair with someone else. Dragons, I think, do not get on very well with tigers, though they may love them. Dragons and Tigers are interesting together but not totally compatible, in my opinion. Anyway, there has been so much happening around me that I cannot keep up with it all, so I just let it go on and happen and then I catch up with it. Some things work themselves out and then there is less for me to do actually. When the leaves are on the ground, the rain and snow fall upon them, so they are the first layer, separating and protecting the earth, seeds, living things, and what exists below from the ice and snow-the elements. Demeter and Persephone. The Nile giving life to the inhabitants along the river, nourishing them, turbulent, regularly flooding, creating great gorges and traveling 4,199 miles through Africa to the Mediterranean. There is a cycle to everything. Each day need not be productive, there are other elements and processes necessary to create than the actual creation. Think of the earth, history repeating itself, and of the ancient rituals of the earth, sun, wind and water. The fallen leaves are important. The rain is important, the preparation for winter, is important, but it is all of the little processes and life forming under the snow, deep under the blanket of leaves, which not only necessarily nurture the earth, but protect these processes and life-and who better to protect the earth and living things with its own body, to keep safe its loved ones, than the Scorpio?

We now have a bathroom floor in one area of the house. It is not really progressing very quickly because of the nature of the particular work. I did not want one of those situations where everything is awry until Christmas, but it will be recommenced after this break (Thanksgiving) and will hopefully move safely and somewhat more quickly if possible. Then, one day it will be finished. Done. Right now I am rather sort of enjoying the makeshiftedness of my house. Zen-like, deciding, after it is all moved out, having a chance to think about it, whether I want to let it back in, need it, love those things.

I have a table in the center of the empty living room upon which I can write and work, a bed, and nearly that whole part of the house to myself (sometimes) as the activity is elsewhere. I have even listened to music-cleaning! But, I do have to put up with the workman, packing up, removal of the mold, tearing away and fumes, etc….so really we are just trying to live through it. Having gotten so much off the table, I need to decide what to put back on it, allow. Another opportunity! There is so much that I have written about last year, a lot of it complete trash, meant to prepare myself for my daughter’s possible leaving, that when I look back, it almost seems I knew-I couldn’t! Didn’t! No matter what I said, I wasn’t prepared. It is just possible that that was essentially it. Done. Which would explain why I was on and off the phone with her not only all day today, but practically everyday since she has been gone, and why I have accomplished very little for myself.

Perhaps that is why I am drawing out the repairing of the house in my own inimitable way-I don’t want my jobs to be done. I need to remain useful, like the leaves, savoring the time I am. But there is always going to be a November and leaves.

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