The Road Ahead

November 12, 2014 golden day 011


The road ahead feels rather dark and murky at the moment.

It rained in the night, and when I opened the slider to let our cat out on the deck I was met with a blast of frigid air.

Not freezing yet, and for that we’re grateful.


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But cold enough.  And its windy today.  It was 38 on the  car thermometer when I climbed in this morning.

This is when November gets down to its task of sweeping another summer away.

I think of November as a great, fastidious janitor sweeping down every leaf and flattening everything it can;  cleaning up after summer for another year.


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The road ahead leads us into the valley of winter; frosty beauty found among the remains of the year just passed.

Winter brings deep silence, especially here in our forest community.  Lawn mowers, blowers, and chain saws oiled and blessedly put away for a few months.


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Winter brings  time to read, to plan, and to rest.

Winter brings twinkling holiday lights, colorful wreathes and ornamented trees.

And winter often brings clarity. 


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An opportunity to see clear through to the bones; whether to the structure of the garden, the skeleton of a tree, or the outlines of one’s own road ahead.


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Those of us well north of the equator, and especially those of us in North America, are traveling this road towards winter together.

As the days grow shorter and our gardens fill with snow and ice, let us find a warm and comforting place to wait it out.


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Those who don’t want to live in darkness need only light a candle, as the proverb tells us.

And we can light candles for each other, offering the warmth of love and friendship to those sharing this bit of the road with us.


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Roads go ever ever on,

Over rock and under tree,

By caves where never sun has shone,

By streams that never find the sea;

Over snow by winter sown,

And through the merry flowers of June,

Over grass and over stone,

And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on

Under cloud and under star,

Yet feet that wandering have gone

Turn at last to home afar.

Eyes that fire and sword have seen

And horror in the halls of stone

Look at last on meadows green

And trees and hills they long have known.



                                   J.R.R Tolkien,  from The Hobbit


November 12, 2014 golden day 109

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014


December 13 2013 poinsettias 003

Holiday Wreath Challenge 2014


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

5 responses to “The Road Ahead

  1. Lovely post, both words and photos. Almost makes me happy about November! Almost… 😉

  2. Such a beautiful description of November, and winter, in words and images. The dark and murky days finally gave way to sunshine here, but it is very cold outside this morning (it was in the 20’s when I got up). Time to get used to the cold once again. 🙂

    • That is just it, Robin. And we do eventually get used to it. But the transition is its own teaching, isn’t it? We have sunshine this morning too, with frost on the grass. We went to the upper 20s, but it is heating up again quickly. All of the plants left on the patio survived the first night of frost 😉 Thank goodness for the sunshine, and the heat it offers! I hope your garden is still full of beauty, WG

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