Monastic Strategies: Celebrating a Saturday Morning in November

Monastic Strategies: Celebrating a Saturday Morning in November November 16, 2019

Celebrating a Saturday Morning in November

November can be a particularly contemplative month.

It begins in the wake of costumes and frivolity with false selves on display for all to see. The days grow colder and darker, almost as if the month itself is turning inward. Candles and treats give way to dark evenings of standard time.

Like contemplation, November is about letting go. Leaves fall from the trees. We let go of long, warm evenings and early mornings. The sounds of summer become quiet. Raking up the leaves which have entertained us, we begin to prepare for the challenges of winter.

We exchange the flashing colors of summer and autumn for the stark contrasts of November. Even in the “endless summer” of Southern California, November is when it might begin to rain.

The changes in our physical world prompt us to get in touch with our inner emotional and spiritual selves. We review what we have accomplished, and what we have yet to do, during the year. Harvesting and assessing the fruits of the year, we pruning back branches to become more productive in the future.

November often prompts us to spend more time indoors, where we may have opportunities for reflection and rest. Slowly, drop by drop and day by day, November draws our attention to gratefulness and thanksgiving. We recognize the gifts and blessings of the year.

This month can be an opportunity for us to reflect, remember, and recognize what we have received. Do not lose it, or let it pass unnoticed.

We have a month and a half left in this year. Some of us will push to fit everything we can into the next six weeks. Others will prepare to make next year more productive than this one.

What is this November bringing out in us?

A Fresh November Saturday Morning

After today there are only two more November Saturday mornings this year. We have only six more Saturday mornings left all year long. Each one is a precious gift and how we spend them is a significant responsibility.

Some of us are already committed by habits or responsibilities. We have taken on tasks or roles which mean we will spend this morning doing something. Our alarms have woken us and we are on our way to meet particular needs.

We may have spiritual practices which demand our attention. Some of us are trying to make up time we have missed during the week.

Many of us see Saturday mornings, even in November, as time to celebrate outdoors. We want to leave behind the restraints of work and spend time in the woods, or the mountains, or at the beach. Some of us are out walking, getting things done.

A few of us have committed our Saturday mornings to staying in bed to read books.

I know people who spend Saturday mornings in November watching college football.

Each November Saturday morning is, like every morning, an opportunity to begin again.

We allow our sleeping and dreaming to clear away what we carry with us so we can start fresh. No matter what concerns or anxieties burden us, waking up to a new morning gives us hope.

Not all mornings unfold into happy experiences. Today may be the kind of day which is etched in our memories, which we cannot forget. While we cannot know in advance what will happen today, we can do our best to make it a good day.

We can commit ourselves to helping today live up the the promise and potential of this morning.

What will we do with this new November Saturday morning?

Waking Up On a November Saturday Morning

Morning is when we wake up. We open our eyes, remember who we are, and embrace the day.

If we keep our eyes closed, we will not see.

Monastic mornings begin early, with light from the stars rather than the sun. We wake up and gather, in person or in spirit, for early morning prayer.

O God, come to our assistance. O Lord, make haste to help us.

Slowly we open our eyes and light begins to appear on our horizon.

We open our eyes in the dark and gradually awaken to the light around us, and within us.

Before breakfast, even before coffee, we begin to awaken.

Monastic mornings are times to appreciate, to awaken, to catch glimpses of the dawn. The light spreads, and our eyes are opened. We wake up to ourselves. Monastic mornings help bring us alive.

Even on Saturday mornings, even in November, we open ourselves to the possibilities of each new day.

Where will our celebration of today help us explore? How will our celebration of tomorrow morning be shaped by what we do today?

We begin each new day by waking up and opening our eyes.

How Will We Celebrate This Saturday Morning in November?

We each choose how we will celebrate each new day all year long.

Many celebrations are built on traditions and extensive sets of rules and expectations. When we decide to celebrate each new morning we can celebrate each one however we want.

Not every day needs to be celebrated with fireworks or ornaments on a tree or enormous meals.

We may have particular ways of celebrating Saturday mornings in November which we change for December. The ways we celebrate Sunday mornings could be different from how we celebrate Saturday mornings.

Choosing how we will celebrate each new morning is up to us. Some people celebrate particular days by eating special foods on those days. We may spend time with particular people to celebrate certain days.

Some of us mark the changing seasons when we celebrate. As autumn becomes more contemplative, we might celebrate more contemplatively. We greet sunlight differently than the dark.

Each day, each morning, is filled with potential and possibilities, including Saturday mornings in November.

How will we celebrate the Saturday mornings we still have in November?

Who will we invite to join us in celebrating Saturday mornings in November?

[Image by elbfoto]

Greg Richardson is a spiritual life mentor and coach in Southern California. He is a recovering attorney and a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is and his email address is

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