Stepping through November

Island Living
October 7, 2015
Bella and George
November 14, 2015

Stepping through November

_D713020We’re well into November, the month that dusk falls ridiculously early, the days keep getting shorter and shadows longer. Let’s not forget the wind. The gusts have already whipped the last color from the maple trees.

Despite the wet, cold and dark, I find this segue into winter to be a prime time to gaze overhead. Not at the stars. Closer, at skeletal branches that the winds have exposed. When I gaze up, I notice what summertime canopies hid from my view: how the trees catch each other.

I look around and it’s as though I’m looking at a family. Evergreens seem to reach out to fallen birch while oaks support uprooted beech and alder. There are saplings intertwined with an older sibling, couples leaning on each other, whole stands providing support.

No wonder that November marks National Family Caregiver’s month. No coincidence, either, that it’s the same month we recognize our veterans who keep us from falling and when we gather with families, thankful for one another’s support.

Thanks, too, for Sir Thomas. He’s been family for three years now. Like a pair of trees that grows so close their trunks meld into one, we take care of each other. Each time we go for a walk in the woods, he gets the exercise he needs and I know he’ll be there if I trip on a root. 



  1. I love how you describe the trees caring for each other– It’s a new thought to me and I will look with more care next time I’m out…Thanks for the post. Am having coffee with Cathi on Friday– will miss you!

    • Renee says:

      Come visit, we’ll watch the trees together. (And maybe play some tennis – the house came with some woodland and a tennis court. I know you love tennis!)

  2. Anita Fiorillo says:

    And when I look at the trees laid bare I now can find the hidden places – where the birds flew into cover all summer long and raised their little ones. In a rain storm a robin’s nest falls and lands in the middle of my lawn and I look up into the maple branch above and think to myself, why did I not realize that was where this nest was. And at dusk I can now see the owl standing with his shoulder to the trunk whoo-ing at me as I walk down the road.

    • Renee says:

      Anita: Beautiful. And I keep trying to find the owl. Spotted a bald eagle in his nest but the owl still eludes me. 😊

  3. Marlys Bennett says:

    I enjoy your writings about your new home so much. As a person who grew up in Seattle, the coast and the North Cascades, my mind goes to those memories. I have wondered how Sir Thomas would adjust to the rainy season, but he seems to adapt to any situation, so I’m sure it didn’t take too long for home to be at home there.

    • Renee says:

      Thank you, Marlys. Tommy is an excellent napper, a skill he’s been relying on during these past rainy days.

  4. Dianeks-MD says:

    Great description of the woods. Enjoy.

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