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Saturday, 6 November 2021

Saturday Rave: November, by Louisa May Alcott and Alexander L Fraser

 "November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year," said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frost-bitten garden.

"That's the reason I was born in it," observed Jo pensively.
                              Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, 1868

Really, one must have some sympathy for Margaret and Jo. November is, after all, always Winter and never Christmas. 

But people have done what they can. In England we have fireworks to lighten up the beginning of the month, and there is Thanksgiving in the USA near the end. Then there's the black-necked crane festival in Bhutan, Dias de los Muertes in Mexico, and the Kite Festival in Guatamala. 

All Saints' Day on the first day of the month is usually worth a lusty hymn in any Christian community.

But still, in most of November there isn't a festival going on, so how do we cope? Well, we could move to the Southern hemisphere, but an easier for most of us is simply closing the door.

Fear not November's challenge bold—
We've books and friends,
And hearths that never can grow cold:
These make amends!

            Alexander L. Fraser (1870–1954), "November," c.1918

Makes sense to me.

Word To Use Today: hearth. The Old English form of this word is heorth. The word is said to be related, though surely no closer than eight cousin, to the Latin carbō, which means charcoal.

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