The month of November brings many joyous gifts and days to celebrate.  Daylight savings time’s exit has given us an extra hour of sleep and brighter, lighter mornings.  The days following Halloween have graced us (or plagued us) with leftover candy.  Veteran’s Day offers us an opportunity to honor our Veterans.   Thanksgiving is a day to share our gratitude and give thanks for our many blessings, and then there’s Movember.  I learned about Movember a few years ago, and it seems to be gaining in popularity and importance.  Essentially, Movember is an attempt to bring men’s health into the spotlight, more specifically prostate cancer.  The movement encourages men to grow moustaches for the entire month.  They start Movember clean-shaven, and by the end of the month, sport a proud, bushy moustache.  The Movember Foundation is an official charity, recognized worldwide.  According to their website, “Through the power of the Mo (short for moustache), vital funds and awareness are raised to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.”  In 2012, the charity raised $147 million.  $21 million in the U.S. alone.  It’s not too late to get started, and women can join the fight too by raising funds and encouraging and supporting the men in their lives.  The power of the moustache.  Who knew?

November is like a bridge, offering us passage into the season ahead, but not first without pausing and reflecting into the water below.  As the landscape sheds its autumnal overcoat and bares its stark and barren beauty, we linger before winter’s slumber.  We take stock of our lives, and the people we care for.  We don’t go unwittingly into the season ahead without first glancing back, and appreciating all that we have, and all that we are, and that is what I’d like to do this month and share with you.

2013 Cedarburg, WI Bridge

“November comes

And November goes,

With night coming early,

And dawn coming late,

And ice in the bucket

And frost by the gate.

The fires burn

And the kettles sing,

And earth sinks to rest

Until next spring.”

-Elizabeth Coatsworth

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney

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