Each fall, when the school year starts, we rummage through the children’s book cases and find In November. Its slow pacing and winter world feel exotic then, and we pretend shiver as we read it through at bed time.
November arrives, and with it scarf and hat weather. It doesn’t usually snow, but the skies hang low over our heads, walks lose their pleasure, and when we come in from the cold the first person finished shedding their layers heads to the hot water kettle to make some tea.
At parties and in email, we start to plan Thanksgiving dinner with our friends. We each have a traditional dish to bring, and we search the internet for one or two more ideas to try. In the weeks before Thanksgiving we bake more, and leave the oven door open for its heat when we’re through.
In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and a pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, pull everyone from bed in a fog. Food is better in November than any other time of the year.
At bedtime tonight we piled blankets on the children and read In November again. The words felt different, the pictures too. The outside world has slowed down to the same pace as the text, it mirrors the paintings with their beautiful simplicity. The story has turned from exotic to true.
If I'm not working or hanging out with our 10 year old while a bouncy 5 year old dances around us, there's a good chance I'll be hammering away on our piano, reading a book or trying to sketch. I live in Prague, Czech Republic and hail from the U.S. South.