November, caught between the vibrancy of October and the starkness of December, has its own beauty and air of expectancy. With most of the year past and the holidays approaching, it is a fitting time to reflect and give thanks.
With each issue of The Laurel, we try to write about much of what makes Western North Carolina a remarkable place to live, work and visit: history, arts and culture, food and drink, beauty of landscape and interesting and diverse people. Our columnists, in particular, are well versed in what makes life here so gratifying.
For this issue, Carol Howard joins our regular columnists who write about history, nature, wine and beer, among other timely topics. Carol lives in Black Mountain, teaches English and writing at Warren Wilson College and gardens with poetry on her mind. You can find her first column, The Literary Gardener.
Our Day Tripper feature explores Burnsville and Spruce Pine where artists and the appreciative public are gearing up for the annual Holiday Studio Tour in early December with more than 100 participating artists.
Handcrafted items and original art make ideal and unique gifts for anyone on your holiday shopping list and help our regional artists prosper at what they do best. Many groups such as Caldwell Arts Council, Marshall High Studio artists and the River Arts District Artists will host sales of their artwork this month. Or, if you want to tap into your own creativity for those on your gift list, check out the Make It, Don’t Buy It workshop at Living Web Farms in Mills River.
As November days shorten, take a breath before the frantic pace of December: hike in the sunlight-filled woods, see a play or hear some music, help out with one of the many nonprofits who work hard this time of year to help those in need. Whatever you do, give yourself the gift of time to slow down and enjoy so much of what we in WNC have to be thankful for.