November Now

242543_10151224037892683_675180789_o-001November now—a month, that makes psalmists of us all. On the Mountain, and in the Park, the evergreens are singing the 23rd with a soulful serenity—the soulful serenity of a Stoic sage: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

In Saint-Louis Square, the melancholy maples mesmerize with a wrenching rendition of the 55th—awash in a soulful sadness—the soulful sadness of a grieving Górecki: “Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. . . . Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.”

In the grey skies above, geese fill the air with a masterful interpretation of the 91st: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.”

But if you long to hear the 65th, or the 46th, you’ve gotta go down to The River, gotta share some secrets with The Saint. Larry roars in the springtime, it’s true, when “the river of God is full of water”—but it’s November now, and his voice is soft and sweet, no louder than a whisper: “Be still,” He says, “and know that I am God.”

—John Faithful Hamer, From Here (2016)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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