This time of year has always seemed to me like the beginning of a three month trip through a long dark tunnel. The light is strange, and the shadows are long.  For a while in October, we could hope for an Indian Summer, and pretend that we didn’t need to find the boots and hats and shovels and scrapers.  Not any more.  There is no snow on the ground yet, but the air is sharp, and when the wind blows, you know that its over.  Fall is gone and we’re heading into the long cold dark.  The days are over as soon as they begin.  If you sleep in, you’ll get six hours of meager, under-water daylight.

Nothing is certain.  We rely on the furnace to keep us warm, and if it fails we’re in trouble.  We hope that the weather will hold and that our sons can come home from college for Thanksgiving.  I hope that the snowblower will start.  At 56 I can still shovel the driveway but I REALLY don’t want to.

Next week is Thanksgiving, and after that the Christmas season will here.  We’ll celebrate the annual effort to hold out against the deepest part of Winter. We’ll all be together, and we’ll enjoy our cocoon of warmth and light. But right now I’m sitting at my kitchen table, listening to the wind and to the leaves rustling against the window.

And I’m thinking about the thin envelop of comfort and safety between us and the dark.