Things I Learned in November

Here we are again at the very end of one month and the bright beginning of another. November days have been short and full. That would imply fat, but what I mean is ripe. Ripe for change falling all around me.

These are a few of my lessons from November.

Invisible Scissors Cut Leaves Free

After Halloween, the leaves around my house began to fall in earnest. I was watching the leaves take flight from the tree outside my window fascinated by the exact timing that the branch let go her bits of scarf to the wind.

The wind might finish the work, but it isn't the wind that makes leaves fall. It isn't the cold either, though the colder, shorter days are the trigger. It is something called an abscission cell. These "scissor cells" are called to the spot where the branch holds the stem of the leaf. At that little joint, the scissor cells arrive to slowly push the leaf from the branch. Like a pair of invisible scissors, they eventually cut the leaf away.

Here is a sneak peak of what is happening inside the tree's bloodstream when the leaves are tossed to the wind in the fall.

scissor cells

Photo from npr.org.

Beauty! Fascination! Artistry! It looks to me like an original painting that might hang in a modern art gallery. But it is God's brilliant brush right outside my window and yours.

November Word Gathering

I like to collect words. I do. Every month I jot down a few words in my commonplace book that I came across while reading or chatting with friends. These are words that either I have never heard of or I don't use naturally.

Here are a few of my favorites from November:
cowrie
ebullient
galoot
ouisa
quotidian
hoodoo
fugue

I won't define them all here, but two of them were from a brand new friend of mine, an acquaintance really. I just met her and spent only a few hours with her. Her name is Kate. She met our dog Luke and he loved her instantly. She nailed his personality by calling him a galoot. I knew this word, (a big lug) but it was so spot on that I added it to my word gathering. Plus, I learned that I did't know how to spell it!

Here's the galoot.

Also, Kate told me that I was ebullient and reminded her of what happiness felt like, a compliment that is still warming me one week later on this freezing November day.

What new words have your learned lately?

This word gathering might become a regular part of my "Lessons From . . ." posts so stay tuned.

Thanks again to Emily P. Freeman for getting me started on these little monthly lesson posts. If we ever meet I'll tell you what fun I've had looking back on each month's lessons.

Meet you back here on New Year's Day.

Terri