The snow came early this year, hence the above cartoon: Snovember. The deer came early too, and we saw three of them wading through the bottom of our garden, about fifty feet from this tree, where the now-bare trees separate our lot from our neighbor’s. It was just after lunch, and quite the surprise, as the deer usually arrive just before dawn or just after dusk, and much, much later in the year.

So it’s clearly a season of firsts and readjustments. Yesterday, we went wild and invested in an early Christmas tree. It’s a six foot tall white birch (plastic and ever-lasting) with 120 led lights and we will plug it in the corner of the dining room by the computers.

In the short dark days of winter, we are affected by Sun Absence Depression (so SAD) and keep a set of lights burning in the corner of the dining room by the computers. These lights are particularly effective in the early winter mornings, before sunrise, when the world is dark and we need warmth and comfort. Turn the computer on, and on come the lights shedding joy to welcome us as we read the enormous amount of bad news that seems to be circulating through our world right now.

Light in the dark: I think of it as a pair of rose-tinted glasses that allow us to reject the bad news and to look for the bright side, the silver lining that blesses every seeming cloud. That’s why the snow falls in bright flakes in my cartoon. The tree appears to be bare, but a couple of birds and some scrag ends of leaves adorn the branches.  The days may appear to be dark, but the bright lights on the tree are a silver lining to the cloud of unknowing that hangs in the air like a black umbrella.

The cloud of unknowing, the dark night of the soul … so much mystery, so much joy and despair, in life around us, yet it is a mystery to be grasped and savored, to be tested and tasted … and what is life without uncertainty, challenge, faith, belief, and lights, colored lights, a festival of lights, and humor, even in this darkest of all seasons?


5 thoughts on “Snovember

    • “Scrag end of mutton” … if I remember correctly. It’s a good question. As writers, John, I think we must keep the language alive (a) by remembering, you ‘cuddy-whiffer, you”; (b) by innovating; and (c) by using old terms (especially cliches) in new ways. The Cloud of Unknowing: I wonder how many modern readers have read that … and how many have even begun to understand it. Great to see you on here. Thank you for the comment. Always so cogent.


  1. Snovember is a lovely posting, reminding winter-resenters like me that much of our (my) days are spent in the lovely, climate-controlled walls of my home. Light brings me comfort and joy, to borrow a phrase, and I derive much pleasure from both my regular illumination and the late Snowvember novelty of Christmas lights. I’m especially uplifted by candles in windows, aren’t you? Excellent work, Roger. Cheers, Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Chuck. These new blog styles are a bit uppity and downity, with some hits and misses. I should think of turning the hits into something slightly different, a cheery book, for once, something along those lines. Candles in windows: it’s nice to see them. I prefer lights to candles. To many candles and oil lamps in my childhood!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s