"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven".
Thus begins the third chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes.
The signs of the season surround me. Although October has faded away, autumn remains with the last glory of the leaves blazing against the sky, whether it's bright blue or steel gray. Now discarded Jack-o-Lanterns are out for trash collection and the coveted candy has been marked down. After today's elections, the colorful signs for various candidates, heavy on the red, white and blue, will also vanish.
It's November, late autumn, and for me a time between. In my faith, we marked the Feast of All Saints on November 1, the Feast of All Souls on the second. These are days of remembrance for saints and martyrs, known and unknown followed by the same for all souls.
Thanksgiving remains a few weeks distant so it's time to savor the autumn season. That's my old-fashioned way of it but it's not one shared with many. Deer season has arrived. In the old days, this was also hog butchering time, yet another rite of passage.
It's harvest time and I've always been one to stock ahead for the coming winter. This year, suddenly my life long habits, taught to me by my Depression-era grandparents. Since in my earliest years, they were my daytime caregivers while my parents worked, they raised me the same way that they did their children, something I value but that has always marked me as different from most of my generation.
Long before October, the Christmas decorations and trimmings began to show up on store shelves, the reds, greens and golds clash against the orange hues of fall.
In this difficult year, I understand the yearning for the joy of Christmas but for me, it's not yet the season. There's a trend to decorate early as if the twinkling lights and pretty Christmas tree can banish the events of 2020. For those who seek that, I hope they find it but for me, it's not yet the season.
I never put up decorations or the tree until December, often not before the second Sunday of Advent. I am old enough to recall when the Christmas season didn't begin until December - or at least after Thanksgiving.
Growing up, the holidays to me were Christmas and New Year's. Now the holidays seem to have stretched to include Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I like to take each season, each holiday in its' own time, to savor the unique flavor of each one.
Each holiday is linked to all those that have gone before in my life, each decorated with memories that can never be erased and traditions that I value.
So, as we enter November, I will enjoy the season, the cooler nights, the rain or even a little sleet, the sunny days and the leaves that fall to the ground in slow circles carried by the wind.
To every thing, there is indeed a season of its' own.
-Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is editor for The Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser. She is also an author and writer.