Congratulations to all of those who made an honest effort with NaNoWriMo. I had no good reason to participate this year and had to force myself not to. There wasn't much joy in the effort last year. Instead, it had turned me into an anxious knot, constantly thinking that I should be doing something else. I should be laboring over 50k words instead of spending time in the yard or reading or just about anything that I enjoyed. So I turned my back on NaNo and feel better for it.
I did buy myself a new book over the weekend. I am reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It uses an actual painting - The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius - as the vehicle for the story and takes place in New York City. Within the first few pages the protagonist, a teenage boy, loses his mother in an explosion. The story evolves from there and we follow Theo through his grief and life after this catastrophic event.
I was ready to get lost in a story. I've been reading bits and pieces of non-fiction (Daring Greatly by Brene Brown) but really haven't been able to immerse myself in the material, quite honestly. I was looking for a new novel that would make me lose track of time and I found it.
I read a chapter this morning while sitting in the sun. I'm soaking up the warmth before a more permanent cold seeps in. All around us we see people preparing in different ways - the new neighbors are getting their garden beds in, others are stringing lights. Everyone, it seems, has pulled their coats from the back of the closet. Baby even donned a new sweater and for the first time ever, I think she enjoyed it.
It's cold and wet and autumn. We haven't planned a thing for our dinner on Thursday. We know we'll roast a chicken. We'll have cranberries and stuffing anything else will have to be a creative endeavor, a scratched together affair from whatever we have in the cupboard.
Texans everywhere are complaining about the cold and if not the cold the drivers. They have good reason. I wouldn't venture out if I didn't have to for both reasons. This is the kind of weather that calls for a fireplace which we don't have. It calls for thick socks which, lucky for me, I do have.
The pullets don't know what to make of this sudden drop in temperature. They keep moving which I think is wise, unlike the hens who stand like stones here and there. They are puffed and so still and formidable in their mass that, I kid you not, a grackle actually stood on the back of the guinea hen yesterday afternoon.
Michael called me to the kitchen window. We stood shoulder to shoulder not believing our eyes as a grackle stood on top of Le Bête who was perched on the roost in the coop. Its birdy legs wobbled trying to find their balance and did for a moment before flying off.
Strangeness has descended upon us. Grey skies. Cold air and water dripping from eaves. It's the season to go inward, to lie dormant and recharge and dream of good things to come.