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Remember, remember, the month of November

| Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Remember, remember, the 5th of November. Isn’t that how the movie (and poem?) goes? If not, I apologize — I’m certainly no Scene Writer (I lack that certain cool mystique that generally surrounds the Scene department). I remember hearing that line in ”V for Vendetta” and being very taken by it — like a ringing little refrain in my head. Because, outside of the context of the movie itself, there is just something about November that seems to lend itself to memory. Perhaps that’s why it’s a forgotten month.

Sure, there’s Thanksgiving, but that’s at the very end of the month, distinctly a part of the holiday season. The November season is different. The days are dark, the trees don’t have their colors anymore and the world starts to feel winter barren for the first time that year. Halloween is over, Christmas still to come. All we have to do is watch the days grow shorter and colder. The dull end of the change of the year. Life fading out rather than coming back into bloom. For whatever reason, however, I secretly love November. It’s nostalgic, the month when you can see and feel change, and I want to watch moody academia movies like ”Good Will Hunting” and ”Dead Poets Society” for the 100th time or pretentiously sip tea while cozied in a blanket with melodramatic jazz singers seeping from the speaker in the background. 

November has its own beauty and poetry, too. Just the other night I saw the biggest moon I think I’ve ever seen — and I can say that with authority. I’m sort of a connoisseur of skyscapes. It was perfectly haunting, yellow and low-slung in the sky, with a thin veil of clouds across its face, dusting South Quad with just enough light. It was one of those moons that warranted a trip outside to get a better view. Leaving the window open at night, you can hear geese flying by, looking for stopovers on their way south and the very last of the leaves skittering along the ground, whispering the secrets of the year gone by.

There’s something about the spareness of it all, the bright sunsets on bare trees, the bleak winds that sneak around corners of buildings, that just lends itself to thinking. Makes you feel like wondering in a way we often don’t even dare to. Musing aloud as you walk across that moonlit quad, you ask yourself, what were the secrets of the year gone by? Do the trees have something to tell us before they go to sleep for the rest of the year? Some untold wisdom to bestow only upon the ones who are listening, the ones who understand the secret magic of the November season? 

So yes, it’s cold and dark and you can’t listen to Christmas music just yet *cough cough.* I’m well aware I may be the only one to so romanticize November. But even the sparest of seasons have their magic, have their moments of enchantment and transformation. So if you’re feeling open and willing to wonder, take some time to listen to the leaves and the trees. What secrets will they tell you that can only be heard, are only remembered, in the November season?

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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