Today, November 1st, is a cluttered black square of type in my calendar… It’s the first day of the month, with all of the financial deadlines and chores that accompany a fresh month…it’s the day after Hallow’een, so we are all just a little groggy from sugar overload and a sleep punctuated with fireworks and firecrackers. It’s also All Saints Day in the Christian calendar, or Samhain in the Celtic Pagan calendar. No matter what your cultural background, here in the Northern Hemishphere there is no questioning the shift in light that accompanies the beginning of November.
Gone are the memories of Summer – we are well and truly into the dark months of the year!
The beginning of November feels like a shift. Suddenly we expect the nights to be long, we expect the days to be cold and we look to the days of Winter ahead. I awake in surreal darkness, convincing my skeptical body that it really is time to get up… and on rainy days it sometimes feels as though it never really gets fully light. Curls of slate coloured clouds catch on the curves of our local mountains and lazily hang there waiting for a breath of wind to push them along. No wonder, then, that just now the veil feels thin between the world of the living and the world of those who have gone before.
So what are we to do? Shiver here in our dim, grey existence? Hardly! We North Westerners have perfected our strategies for warmth and light. We celebrate the contrast of light and dark in thousands of tiny ways. Some examples… You’ll find brilliantly uplit, spectacular trees in most gardens in my neighborhood. That pop of green light is even more beautiful for being embraced by darkness. we light our houses more and more as the very darkest time of year approaches, and by Christmas the entire city is aglow. Inside you’ll find candles and fireplaces are de rigueur to banish the November chill and in the very darkest months I’ll even light candles at the breakfast table!
In the same way, I seem to gravitate to warmth and light in my personal objects and jewellery… a little more warm metal: a touch of bronze, copper and gold just feel wonderful at this time of year. Amber has a natural golden glow that is irresistible, particularly when blended with warm metals and some black or grey for contrast. This leather bracelet is just the thing to have a touch of sunshine that can be carried with me through my day!