I hate November
As did Cape Cod's first visitors
By Walter Brooks
I disagree with T.S. Eliot who opined that "April is the cruelest month." T.S. probably never spent a November in New England when the warmth and wonder of summer dies in the cold and wind of November.
"If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." - W.C. Fields.Even our very first "visitors" in November of 1620 agreed with me when the Pilgrim leader William Bradford said upon his arrival on the bleak Provincetown shore, "I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amazed at this poor people's present condition ... Which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to the heavens) they could have little solace or content in respect of any outward objects. For summer being done, all things stand upon them with a weather-beaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hue."
It's the contrast which kills me, plus tomorrow is my birthday, which at my age is both a wonder and a horror. As W.C. Fields reminds us, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
Thomas Hood had it correct when he wrote in 1844,
No sun - no moon! No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds!
And Provincetown's late Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz also had it right when he wrote "The End of Summer",
An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.
I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.
Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was over.
Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.