The birth-month of the colour grey.
The dim season that reminds us, in cool hushed tones, that all things decay then pass.
Because our seemingly fool-proof escape plan includes the perfect hibernation scenario, we forget. Surely we will be one of the ones who succeeds to see yet another spring. It will not happen to us so we sleep even while awake and make plans of the forever kind.
Wake up! The gift of the November grey is the necessary reminder that we too will pass and we know not the time or place. We all pass. The gift is in the accepting of it.
November is not a morbid month. Decay and real growth are not mutually exclusive. Let your own colour be the vibrant contrast to the neutrality of this time. Open your eyes, breathe deeply, see the grey of this very season and choose to decay gracefully.
I discovered the death date not cut phrase on a web site that acts as an online roll call of the sleepy inhabitants of a small country cemetery near the town where I was born.
And in fact, this bracketed set of words sits ominously next to the name of my 101 year-old grandmother who has not yet shuffled off this mortal coil and who still eats, yawns, argues and wonders what it is all about.
And, on this master list, her name sits under the name of her husband, my grandfather, who took up permanent residence in that cemetery more than 30 years ago when his Parkinson’s made the move necessary.
So, with her name and birth date already etched in, her unfinished headstone awaits the day when all her eating, yawning, arguing and wondering are done. But that day is still unknown. For her and for us.
Our death date has not yet been cut either. Until it is, how will we attend to our doing and non-doing? Sleeping and waking? Noticing, acknowledging and self-medicating? Reacting and responding? Loving and living from fear? Choosing and accepting?
How will we live while the engraver naps?