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Happiness (in November)

November 3, 2017

IMG_5506November, and the long dark has descended on central Ohio. It was sudden this year, the blue sky suddenly veiled, temperatures dropping, farm stands closing, and neighbors retreating inside immediately after trick or treating on Halloween night.

Happiness, by S.E. Smith

Briefly, it is possible. The rain shines down,
the bucket is ready. It makes a nice click,
the last snap on the jacket. It doesn’t have
to be a particular kind of jacket. But it has
to be November, and you must be at the zoo.

I’m just telling you what I’ve heard from others,
others who seem to know. I know a little
about teeth and what happens to them
around a surfeit of candies, but that’s
about it. It can be any kind of candy, as long
as there’s a lot of it. And this is what happens:

light lurches around the lawn like a maiden wasted
by too much pastoral goodness, heavy is her harp
which she has lugged along for company.
But such music, such ungainly sweetness!
Muchness becomes moreness, at which point
her friends show up, a gang of bilious shepherds

who toss her among themselves when they get mean.
It becomes clear that you must wait until they fall asleep
before attempting to make your exit, and by this point
your teeth have already begun to leave you,
so impatient are they.

This year I am told I’m not allowed to mourn the passing of light and color, as we had it for so long, clear until the last days of October. But the muchness is always my favorite and the moreness lasts so long here.

“Gets dark early now.” The days are drawing in. Our candy is picked over, and soon only a few pieces of the kind we don’t like will be left at the bottom. It will be time to wash the bowl and put it away, time to schedule a dentist appointment, grade the last of the papers, take out the trash, and turn on the lights.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2017 9:26 pm

    rhythm of life–that’s what came to me as I read this. 🙂

    • November 3, 2017 9:59 pm

      I guess. But in other places, there’s more sunlight during the winter.

      • November 3, 2017 10:18 pm

        rhythm of *your* life? 😛 *said tongue-in-cheek*

        and I totally get you. I live on the east coast, and it’s getting darker earlier here as well. I do live in a big city though, so as it becomes darker, apartment lights all around me start twinkling one by one, making it. . . seem cozy somehow?

        Anyhoo, sending you some hugs!

  2. November 4, 2017 1:51 pm

    This was so nice. Even in So Cal we have had cold cloudy days. It’s nice to be in the rhythm of the rest of the country, season wise, for once! Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year…almost a holiday. I love darker nights 🙂

    “light lurches around the lawn like a maiden wasted
    by too much pastoral goodness,”

    I mean really…what a great line!

    • November 5, 2017 1:33 pm

      It is a great line. I love the personification of the light, and especially that it’s “lurching” which is one way to describe my current gait. I’m trying not to limp, but with muscles that can still use more strengthening and having limped for more than a year now, the best I think I can manage is a kind of lurch–although I have hopes of improvement, whereas the light is waning for now.

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