If November had a poster child, I imagine it would be a day like today. It dawned clear blue and cold, with a breeze strong enough to cause the tops of the trees to sway and dance in the morning light.
Most of the maples and plums have shed their leaves but the huge cottonwoods down the road cling stubbornly to their gold foliage and, in the yard across from me a picture-perfect pear tree boasts both green leaves and lush, golden fruit.
There is a fully leafed tree directly opposite my window. Its heart shaped leaves are varied shades of green and yellow. The sun is directly behind it right now, and the leaves glowing: Nature's stained glass. They flutter in the breeze, entrancing in their grace.
Bevies of small birds swoop and glide from tree to tree, breakfasting upon bright red holly berries and the orange fruit of both pyracanthus and mountain ash. There are other berries too: The black olive-like fruit of neatly trimmed laurel hedges stands in perfect contrast to the pure white of unruly wild snowberries flourishing in the cottonwood groves. Beside them, wild roses weave medieval tapestries; ruby hips glowing at the tips of golden branches.
A congress of crows has gathered this morning on the telephone wires, raucous in their conversation as they begin their day with a good gossip. They break suddenly and I look up to see an eagle soaring overhead, riding the cold wind in spirals, its wings extended motionless as it rides the currents upward. It is headed towards the river, uninterested in crows when there are salmon for the taking.
A group of children passes by below, on their way to school, dressed now in winter coats and, for the first time this fall, I see mittened hands. The girls wear brightly coloured tights beneath their skirts but there are no snow boots yet. Instead, running shoes of almost every hue - some neon-bright - clad feet that seem too large for such small people. They'll grown into them soon enough, I'm sure. :)
I sit drinking my first cup of coffee, savouring its comforting warmth while making a list for the day ahead. Only three items on my list: Do the laundry, sew an apron, work on a card design. A list of three is all I allow myself on any given day. Within that limit lies the hope that I might actually finish my chores before I go to bed.
I hear my fella stirring now. He sleeps longer since his illness, but he'll join me soon. Time to ready breakfast and begin my day, but I will pause again, I'm sure, to enjoy the sunshine and the view.
However you spend your day today, I hope you'll find some quiet moments too. Whatever the weather where you are, I hope you find some small seasonal gifts to lighten your spirits.
Have a joyful day.