Friday, November 10, 2023

November's Slow Down Time

Last week, I woke to the sight of my thriving basil plants limp from the overnight frost. While this was upsetting, I reminded myself that November is coming to the end of its trail. Darkness creeps in earlier. Winds whisper in the night and leaves swoosh across the sidewalks. Nature readies herself for a transition. During this time of change, articles and self-help guides are plentiful. November becomes the time to slow down, let go or rest. I turn to F. Scott Fitzgerald's quote, Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. Autumn is a time for renewal.

As I reset my clock, I decide to pause and reset my self-care goals.: Find ease and peace on a daily level. Indulge in ample amounts of sleep during November's slow-down. Read and write often to unwind. Cherish small moments and find positivity.

In searching for a short poem on November, I found November Night, written by a late 19th-early 20th American poet, Adelaide Crapsey. Below is an example of an American cinquain poem that she created.

With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall. 
-Adelaide Crapsey

Intrigued by Crapsey's  word choice and imagery, I penned an American cinquain poem.

November winds
chase crunchy, fallen leaves
dancing a quickstep across trails.
Tune in.
©CVarsalona, Fall 2023

While walking the nature trail this week with my little grandgirls, we listened for sounds in the woods, stopped to pick just right leaves for a collage, and made small observations. On the way home, my 6-year-old grandchild, Sierra, began piecing together a draft of a poem about our November walk in the woods. I captured some of her thoughts and merged them into a children's poem with a photo of the two little girls marching in the woods.

What will you do during November's slow down period of of letting go and renewal?
You can find me soaking in nature.

Since today is Poetry Friday, I am going to soak in the poetic goodness lining up at our host, Karen Edmisten's blog site. Karen is bringing me back to the wonders of Autumn in New York. Join me there.



  1. I've been playing with Crapsey cinquains this month, and I love that autumn one SO MUCH. What a gorgeous lot of images you've graced us with - California's gold isn't quite faded but we're not entirely lacking in the reds and yellows of our East Coast friends. It's good to see signs that things in the natural world, at least, are proceeding into change.

  2. I've loved the Crapsey poem for what seems forever, Carol. What a beautiful one you have now created 'after" hers. I love the "tune in" - indeed we will! And then your words with Sierra fit the picture so very perfectly. I remember putting leaves inside books to flatten & keep them, do you? In these darkened days, I will read a bit before dinner, go get the mail, enjoy the twilight skies. Happy November!

  3. Carol, your post was so relaxing, like a peaceful walk in the woods, followed by curling up with a good book. Your grandchildren are adorable! So nice to be able to spend time with them appreciating the beautiful autumn leave.

  4. A productive walk and quality time with grandkids -hard to beat, Carol. The resultant poetry-such a beneficial outflow.

  5. I love that Adelaide Crapsey cinquain, too, Carol - and yours is a livelier take on those fallen leaves in the same format. How lucky your precious grandgirls are to have you embrace the natural world with them at their own pace (what should be our grown-up pace, too, as you note!) and also to nurture their creative responses. Enjoy this cozy time of year!

  6. So wonderful to share the slowdown with your grandgirls, Carol. And what a joy to craft both poetry and leaf collage together :)

  7. Carol, what a nice post. I can hear the slower breathing and your slow-down goals coming to life here in your writing. Thanks for that example of American cinquain, which sounds like it could have been written today (except maybe for crisp'd, which we wouldn't have to do today) In your poem, I love: "dancing a quickstep", which is exactly what those fall leaves do in the wind!

  8. Ah, for the slow down. Yes. :) ❤️ I adore that one by Adelaide Crapsey, and you rose to the occasion too, Carol! Doing my best to tune in. :) Thanks for this.

  9. What serendipity! Just this morning I read these lines from a poem by Barbara Crooker: "Right now, just the tips of basil have been brushed with frost's black kiss..." so your opening line pulled me right in. Thanks for all of it, but especially the sweet poem showcasing Sierra's thoughts. What a treasure those girls have in you.

  10. "Tune in." What a great way to approach this season, Carol!

    1. Yes, the chill in the air and the sun in the sky make it easy to tune in, Anastasia. My #smallpoem about Veterans Day is at Thanks for your challenge this month.