“November always seems to me the Norway of the year.” Emily Dickinson

I don’t know what Dickinson meant with this quote above. What I know is that November always seems (to me) like time of the year, I always have to dig deeper in order to discover its gifts.

1. Tactics to save daylight

Summer is long gone and forgotten, and November tightens. But how sweet is the act of turning back the clock for one more hour to snooze!

2. Magic and mysteries of Crows

My favourite artist, MagicLoveCrow, introduced me to these fascinating birds. In fact, she painted this beautiful smile for me, a few years ago just to help me endure the darkness that is November. This remains the favoured art piece in my collection. To learn more about these smart creatures, feel free to listen to this podcast, Are Crows Scary or Just Scarily Smart?

3. Letter Writing as Art

Long & long does it seem since I have had any word or sign from you.” ~ Anne Gilchrist

Letter-writing is something I immensely enjoyed, and terribly miss in this age of WhatsApp. Anyway, I especially enjoy letters of classic poets and writers. They always reveal a lot about the times these writers lived in. At the moment, I’m reading The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman. Thanks to friends, who keep recommending great books to read. 🙂

4. The Colour Orange

Orange signifies different things to different people. For me, right now, it simply means a colour to brighten the dark days of November. Think smell and taste of butternut soup. Yum! And of course, the fragrance of love; I simply adore lilies.

Orange Lilies

5. On transcending barriers

“We don’t have control over many aspects of our lives yet we always have an option on how we respond.” ~ Stephanae McCoy

Steph is one of the amazing people I met on the blogs, and call a friend. What first attracted me to her blog is her sense of style, which I soon find out that it is actually her mission. Steph is a crusader, who breaks the myth “blind people can’t be fashionable.” She raises awareness but also empowers blind and visually impaired women through her blog Bold Blind Beauty, and beyond.

Please take time to browse her blog for a real sense of the impactful work she does. And I hope her story, My Path from Poverty to Possibilities, inspires you as well.

Wishing you have a cozy and restful weekend, and always with a good book to read! And good luck to all, who are participating in NaNoWriMo.

Occasionally, I share five random things I’m reading, watching, doing and thinking about. You’re most welcome to join the conversation.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. Khaya, a lovely collection random things from your week! Ahhh … I do love your November photo and with views like this the month seems definitely something speical. We have cold, grey, wet with the odd dab of sunshine. Letter writing is indeed a lost art and one I sorely miss. Clearing out recently I came across boxes of letters … they delve so much into the core of a subject, reaching the heart of the reader and writer alike. WhatsApp etc are so superficial and transitory by comparison. I’ll have to check out The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman – thank you so much for the recommendation. Have a cosy weekend yourself! xx

  2. Khaya my friend, for November is my birth month so I am in love with all Novembers, dark or not. It is also a month that reminds me to start preparing for Christmas, a season that I love so much. I can even smell it in the air. Still have not forgotten about our project . I t shall surely come, 🙂

  3. Thank you, dear Annika. You cannot believe it, we had our first snow earlier than usual. I tell you, it makes a lot of difference in terms of bringing some light. Will it last? Who knows!

    I almost envy you for coming across boxes of letters. 🙂 I love reading letters. Glad you inspired to check out Gilchrist and Whitman’s letters.

    Thank you, I’m staying put indoors this weekend! x

  4. Dearest Celestine, happy birthday month! I must say, some of my favourite people are born in November. 🙂 So, do not mind me when I lament its darkness, I know it’s sunny and bright in the South. Many happy returns for your birthday and I hope you celebrate this special day all month. Good luck with Christmas preparations.

    Oh yes, about our project, I wait patiently. As they say, all good things come to those who wait. 😀

  5. You’ve found all kinds of ways to make November special, Khaya. It’s lovely to take a moment and reflect on the random things that make you happy. Thanks for the smile.

  6. Diana, I’m glad you appreciate that special smile. It’s truly a wonderful smile that welcomes me home always. 🙂

    Thank you for popping by, I know you are busy with your NaNo writing. All the best. <3

  7. We are about to get our first frost, so… November and I aren’t speaking–you know how I feel about cold weather, lol!

    Stacy is such a gifted artist. I love the smile on your crow. And I’ve been eyeing the beauty she has on her banner right now.

    I love letter writing (and reading, too). I’ve been delighting in a stunning book, which was also recommended by a friend. The book contains a letter by Neil Gaiman *hehehe*

    Orange and I used to get along just fine. These days, it makes me think of that thing we (the US) have as a president. Sigh.

    I’m behind on blogs I follow, but… after I catch up, I shall check out your friend’s blog.

    I hope you are having a fantastic day/night.

  8. 1. That extra hour of daylight is such a life saver for me too. I know I’ll dread giving it back in the spring though.

    2.Stacey’s crows are like little bursts of joy, aren’t they. You can’t help but smile too.

    3. That sounds like a neat book. I just finished up a book called Gods of Jade and Shadow which was based in Aztec mythology and it was pretty neat.

    4.Butternut squash soup! Yum! Also ’tis the season for sweet potato too. I can’t resist anything made of sweet potato.

    5. I’ll have to check out that blog!

  9. Ah, it’s November of frosts on your side? Do wrap up and stay warm. 🙂 And isn’t that banner at Stacy’s cute! I can see why you’ve been eyeing it.

    Yay, you went ahead and got yourself the book of letters! I didn’t trick you, right? The book does contain a letter by Gaiman…lol! Seriously though, I hope you find as much joy as I do re-reading some of these letters.

    About the colour orange, I totally understand. Here’s to hoping your “relationship” with the colour will be restored one day. Regarding the blogs, take your time Maga. Sometimes it’s simply impossible to keep up. The nice thing though, like books, we can read them at our comfortable pace.

    Thank you, and I also wish you a great week ahead.

  10. Oh yes, that extra hour is super sweet. 😀 Then add Stacy’s smiling crow in the mix, and the day doesn’t feel so dark after all.

    The book is really neat. Not only do I love books of letters but also reading classics. Your read sounds neat too, and the setting Mexico intrigues.

    ‘Tis the season of yum with so many delicious meals to make, I love sweet potato too. Do enjoy the season! And Steph’s blog is worth checking, I really enjoy reading it. Because her posts go beyond raising awareness for visually-impaired, address topics we all can relate to.

  11. Ah yes, turning back to clock to sleep an extra hour…until my husky mix reminds me she couldn’t care less what the clock says! It’s true, crows really are amazing creatures with long memories & strong loyalties. And orange, what can I say. It invigorates me always. Has a huge impact on my own energy and has been my long-time friend and favourite, no matter the season.

  12. I do like your first photograph …
    We have had cooler days with frosts, and there is nothing better than to dress up warm and enjoy a walk one frosty morning when the sun is shining 🙂
    Orange is just a lovely colour it warms and cheers.

    All the best Jan

  13. Hi Khaya, what a great post!! The NPR clip about crows was fascinating, thanks for sharing it. Oh, and I love the smile Stacy painted for you and her blog. And, I was blown away by you mentioning me in your post–thank you so much for your kind words.🤗😘💗

  14. Hi Jan, it’s good to hear that sun is still shining on your side. Do enjoy those crispy and refreshing morning walking. 🙂

  15. It’s a pleasure Steph. You do an amazing job raising awareness. I’ve learned a lot from your posts. Keep it up!

    And yes, Stacy’s blog is a temptation with her beautiful art. I mean the way she loves and paints her crows, it’s difficult to resist. 😀

  16. For the love of pets! And they don’t really care how cold it is outside. 😀 I’m glad to hear that you find orange an invigorating colour too. It does wonders for my energy levels, especially now in this dark.

  17. Khaya, I had responses to all your points, but then I went and listened to Nomzi Kumalo’s song, and now I cannot focus on anything else. As a vocalist who has deep heart roots in the music that Kumalo’s song harkens back to, I am so moved – I would actually say shaken to the core – by Nomzi’s voice and words and musical style. I am not yet even able to name the emotions that are emerging upon hearing it, but I can promise you I will be spending hours exploring them, and listening again and again. I went and bought the record right away and hope dearly Nomzi will be releasing a whole album full of her incredible musical poetry sung in that cut-right-to-the-bone voice. I will definitely be spreading the word most enthusiastically about Nomzi and her music! Thank you so much, my friend, for introducing me. My heart needed it.

  18. So, so heartwarming. Thank you H for listening and supporting this incredible artist. Nomzi has alluded to another work coming up early next year. I’ll certainly convey the message to her. Thank you! <3

Do leave a trace!