November Rose Misha Herwin


On Thursday at the clinic where Mike goes to have his leg bandaged, the student nurse asked if we were ready for Christmas. Having just had Halloween this was somewhat of a shock, exacerbated by the fact that the season of Santa, reindeer, turkey and stockings was very far from my thoughts.

Most of my energy is directed to the next challenge in our lives as we prepare to sell our four bedroom house and downsize. Apart from this the weather and more particularly the state of the garden make it hard to think that in a few weeks’ time we will be in the depths of winter. It’s true we have had a few cold days, and some apocalyptic rain, but in spite of that,  the roses are out, the grass is still growing, the camellia is showing its buds and the busy lizzies have only just died away, while the nasturtiums are having a second lease of life. If the recent gusts of wind hadn’t striped the some of the trees of their leaves, looking outside the window when the sun is shining, it would be easy to believe that we are still in early autumn.

On one level, this does not matter and I am grateful that we have hardly had to switch on the heating. Finding wild strawberries hiding under their leave at the bottom of the garden has been a delight. On a deeper level, however, this unseasonality, if there is such a word, is disconcerting. I like to have a feel for where I am in a year. I don’t want flowers blooming out of season, I like to keep my strawberries for the summer and the thought of what this unpredictable weather is doing to wildlife and most importantly of all the crops we depend on to survive is very worrying.

There are times when seeing this disruption of the natural cycles of life fills me with despair and there are others, and today is one, I can allow myself to enjoy the beauty of a November rose.


Griselda Heppel said…
Ready for Christmas? WHAT? Barely November. Has the nurse taken leave of her senses? If she'd asked, are you looking forward to Christmas, that would be OK... but ready? Ye gods.

And I agree, the season is so strange. Our cyclamen have flowered again, which is lovely, but unexpected. But that is a beautiful rose. And traditionally roses are pretty resilient, often flowering well into November. Never fear, we'll doubtless have a blizzard soon. You're right to enjoy the beauty of nature, however unseasonal.

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