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November, the Cruelest Month

“November is the cruelest month,” stated poet Jamie Moore.

September is beautiful with cooler temperatures, ripening fruit, and the fragrance of harvest all about. October, golden in splendor, bears the mocking of a flirt – Indian summer weeks, then the advent of cooler winds and the hint of snow.

But November pulls no punches.

November 7, 1986, Winnipeg was hit with a three-day blizzard. 35.2 centimeters of snow (14.08 inches) fell within the first 11 hours, winds howled at 70 km/h per hour creating zero visibility.

Snow wrapped Winnipeg in its blanket.

Front-end loaders made a single path, for emergency vehicles, through towering six-foot drifts. Nurses at hospitals, could not get home and those about to start shifts were unable to reach hospitals.

Amid this chaos, Jean, having just undergone major surgery, experienced the commotion at Victoria General as she recuperated.

Jason and I decided to walk to the Vic, not an easy hike.

At first, we waded through snowbanks up to our waist, and then once on Pembina Highway, we walked the narrow trail created by the front-end loaders. When a police car or emergency vehicle came along, we were forced to climb the bank to let it proceed. But in that time of Jean’s isolation, we arrived. A nurse commented to Jean that she must have felt much love expressed in our efforts to make that visit.

Winnipeg has experienced one of the warmest Novembers on record. But, the people in the lower mainland of British Columbia and the city of Merritt, BC have been forced from their homes, have lost livelihoods through destruction of crops or the death of animals, and the rain just keeps coming.

A new variant of the Coronavirus has made its entrance onto the world once again disrupting travel and economic markets.

It is November, the cruelest month of all.

This year Advent, that period of thoughtful preparation for Christmas, begins in this dark month. Each week in Advent another candle is lit to represent one of four Christian, I would say now universal values: hope, love, peace, and joy. Into the darkness of our lives, we can be lifted into light by each of these messages.

It can appear Advent thinking gets pushed aside by the frenzy of Christmas shopping, parties, and decorations.

The impact of that first Christmas event, when a new Divine footprint touched our world, can get lost in the glitter. But I believe there is something about this God event, Christmas, that stirs generosity, provides hope and generates peace and love.

Last year, in December, one of our community organizations, Harvest Manitoba, received over three hundred thousand dollars in one day. Families travel hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to be together, to embrace and express their love for each other. It is a time when many look beyond themselves to see the needs of others.

These are all expressions of the God footprint in the coming of Jesus that has reshaped our world.

Like Jean, every individual at some time experiences a dark November moment.

It is in that dark instant the Divine Advent stories of hope and love can be claimed and in so doing bring the welcomed sense of love and peace. Jason and my visit to Jean that distant November was such – a touch of love and hope.


Fire and Iron

Read more from this Canadian Writer, Norm Fullerton, in his Fire and Iron book. A collection of short stories husband and wife relationship orientated. This Canadian book comes with printable book club discussion questions.

Inspirational Stories of Relationships

Fire and Iron Book Cover 3D (Instagram Post).png
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