November Horses

expat issues

I love you, Internets, for so many reasons. For instance, the fact that my favorite singer/songwriter, Mary Chapin Carpenter, can simultaneously Tweet and Facebook a link to this article from the New York Times that she is loving, and that moments later, I can turn it into fodder for my blog, with a completely different spin, all the way down here in Australia (where it is Thursday, not Wednesday where Mary Chapin is winding down the day with her NY Times).

On this Thanksgiving/almost Thanksgiving, it is hard for me to not to think about the impact of the seasons. This article beautifully details the author coming to terms, slowly, with fall and impending winter. He begins:

Just about now, I remember that the trees on this farm will be bare for the next six months. It always comes as a surprise.

Here in Australia, my picture is so different. I am battling the sun blaring through my window, contemplating how the days are only going to get hotter from here, and thinking about how fans are our only hope for survival. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea of the impending winter that the author is facing, but I can relate to the sense of surprise. Everyday that it gets warmer here, I feel it should get colder. 

He goes on:

…truthfully, I’m still back in mid-August, before the barn swallows vanished, before the pokeweed berries were ripe enough for the cedar waxwings, before the chipmunks gorged on the dogwood drupes.
This month, more than any other, I slip in and out of season, never quite able to coincide with the calendar.
I love that quote about slipping in and out of season. Though I’ve never put words to it before, I believe that we feel that in any seasonal climate during these transitional days between one season and the next. Of course, my confusion with the calendar is particularly marked, and I have hardly grasped the turmoil that hovers over my personal clock and psyche. On a day like Thanksgiving, the most quintessential Fall holiday, my mind is wrapped around golden and red leaves, roasting cinnamon and pumpkin, apple cider, and cuddly sweaters. It is so much a part of who I am that I can’t help but feel a co-mingled sense of melancholy (because, isn’t that how you are supposed to feel in fall) and confusion.
The last line of this article is the one that truly gets me:
They are November horses now, just the way they were June horses not so long ago.
Animals are not burdened by the emotional weight of the holidays. They know warm and cold, wet and dry, hungry and full. They know what the seasons tell them and they carry on appropriately. Oh, to be so adaptable and unhindered. 

Today, as I wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings, I bask in the sun and wonder if I am a November horse or a June horse. 

A Georgia Fall.

3 thoughts on “November Horses

  1. mental mosaic

    This post is so lovely that I barely know how to reply…

    “I can’t help but feel a co-mingled sense of melancholy (because, isn’t that how you are supposed to feel in fall)”

    Yes! There is a melancholy to fall, but it is pleasant, somehow, like bitter chocolate.

    Even though I am in Texas, and not ‘down under’ I have some cognitive dissonance over the weather versus calendar here.

    Fall seemingly fell, then suddenly we had a gray sky and leaves blowing all over accompanied by 80+ degrees!


  2. Samantha

    Thanks for making me homesick. =P

    Just teasing… I was already there. Today I went to go get pumpkin pie filling from David Jones – and couldn’t find it anywhere!!! I was really bummed – and the funny thing is, I don’t even like pumpkin pie that much. Lol.

  3. C. In Oz

    @Tui – Thanks so much for the lovely compliment. Love the bitter chocolate metaphor, also! Yes, the melancholy is somehow part of the joy of the season. Also, as a former Floridian, I get what you’re saying about Texas. I think the hardest thing here is that the temperature just keeps rising and rising, the flowers bloom, and people shed more clothes. We are going in the wrong direction, seasonally – or at least, that’s what I’m accustomed to believe.

    @Samantha – Saw Mimi and Kim today, and both were also lamenting on their homesickness. I didn’t know this holiday would evoke so many emotions. And, yes, I find myself wanting things just because that’s the way it’s done at home. Hope you get your pumpkin pie!

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