It’s a bright, beautiful New Jersey day. I’m always lost in thought while I walk, and this time of year the landscape becomes sparse in contrast to the lushness of summer and the vibrancy of October.

As I watch the trees yield to approaching winter, I am reminded of the cleansing that occurs. The leaves and fruit fall, the animals feed, and nature prepares to turn inward to ride out the cold winter months.

There is something to be said about a season of starkness. It depicts the act of paring down, be it physical or mental. It allows us to really take stock of our “inventory”: blessings, thoughts, gardens of family and friends, and the activities associated with them all. The season seems to bring clarity to the process of sorting things out in our minds.

The juxtaposition of the bare, natural landscape and the upcoming celebration of Thanksgiving is beautiful. We partake of bounty in the midst of such unadorned scenery. We choose to forego elaborateness, and find ourselves drawn to giving thanks, giving back and giving thought to our own lives as we understand them.

This barren month of November can lead to a special time of introspection and clarity if we embrace it. Natures cleansing. It prepares us for the months ahead, and allows us to find that simple, quiet place within ourselves. It can make Spring, and the rebirth that accompanies it, that much more valuable and beautiful if we embrace this season at hand.

Don’t fear, grieve or avoid the simplicity of this time. Use it wisely, in tune with nature to prepare yourself for the bounty that is yet to come.

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