Farewell, Sweet December

I’ve always loved this month. December and October have always been by far my favorites, and I would include November in this list, but November is more of boring in-between stage for me in the transition from fall into winter.

October in the Pacific North West is filled with color and rain and at the same time a dank grey that hangs overhead and refuses to leave. It’s gorgeous. I love how it rains and even though the sky is endlessly grey the leaves keep your eyes entertained. They pile the streets and sidewalks and the rain keeps the world wet and smelling like fresh earth and worms. It’s cold but not yet freezing and mom makes homemade chili by the second week and it’s delicious and it’s fall. The rice is steamy and the chili is the perfect combination of beans and onions, ground beef, tomato, peppers and other spices and I pile on the cheese and sour cream until it’s creamy and still just spicy enough to leave my tongue a little sizzled.’

December everything is grey. A happy, white, frosty grey. It still rains, but not as often. Did you know that I love the rain? I wish it rained everyday. December is freezing. December requires you to wear two pairs of socks and boots and layers of clothes to keep warm. December in my valley is beautiful. Do I wish it snowed more in the PNW than it really does? Of course I do. But I love the grey better than the white I think. I love how when we drive home through our valley the fields are covered in frost and the trees are bare and their skinny branches reach out just like the trees in Tim Burton’s movies. I love the atmosphere. I love the chill outside and it’s not winter unless it has that oddly cheery grey air to it.

People find the grey and the rain depressing. And I can’t figure out why. I love it. I live for it. It makes me feel relaxed and peaceful. There’s a beauty in how the sunlight that peeks through all those grey clouds hits the cold and dull colored earth. Maybe it’s because of the sparkle that happens from the water that tends to flood our valley. Maybe it’s the unsaturated yellow of the frozen fields contrasted against the constant grey blue of the sky and the washed out trees. I don’t know, but December I will miss you.

And I will miss the dark mornings and early nights. I will mourn the lost time that could be spent looking at the stars and moon and ever expanding universe as the sun begins to rise earlier and set later. I’ll groan silently to myself as the weather begins to warm and the spring rain leaves us in mid-April for the summer heat and dryness that will hover over us from mid-June until late September.

There’s just a certain feeling that December gives me. The cold air. All the tea I drink. The odd melancholy but happy feeling that always finds it’s way nestled into me for these 31 days. Last year December wasn’t exactly an easy month. But I still enjoyed it. December is never really an easy month. Something’s usually happening to cause some heartache for whatever reason. But then there’s also good things that happen. Things that make you think. Ponder.

I think maybe what I’m trying to say is, December (and yes, October too,) just tend to get me filled with a need to write, a need to think, to really evaluate. The only problem is I usually don’t know what to write about, or I do it all in my head and lose whatever wisdom or philosophical realization I may have come to. And by the time I figure it out, the month is over and the feeling’s gone. Clearly this is something I’m going to need to improve on. (The fact I’ve posted twice in a week is a good step I suppose.)

Let’s see if I can’t turn January into my muse, too.

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