November is a lost month. It’s still autumn but November often isn’t. Yet it isn’t winter, either. November is often just a filler between Halloween and Christmas. Over the years Pilgrims and turkeys have been squeezed out by those two mega-holidays.

Early autumn has a sense of nostalgia about it, a longing for the recently departed summer. With October’s clear, warm days it’s easy to recall the carefree months that just passed. By the time November arrives those memories have faded. November is melancholy. November is a black and white photograph of an empty playground, swings hanging still, the playing fields bereft of life. November is ankle deep in fallen leaves, color drained from trees whose naked branches are fingers reaching into the lead-grey skies. November is sunlight trying to break through the clouds at the horizon as if to say “I’m still here.” November is cold wind blowing over barren ground, fields that a few weeks ago were golden with crops now fallow. November is the deserted garden that hasn’t properly been put to bed for the winter, tomato vines withered and twisted, shriveled vegetables left behind under a blanket of dead leaves.

November is a time to pause and reflect. It offers ample opportunity for both, with Veterans’ Day coming early in the month and Thanksgiving at the end. But too often we don’t take either opportunity in our rush to get through November so we can get on to Christmas. That’s too bad because November is a great month.