Friday, November 23, 2007

Inwards and Downwards to Deep Winter

At some point in late fall, usually right around Thanksgiving, the season lurches forwards all of a sudden, like a weather earthquake. The change of seasons is never smooth of course, but what I'm referring to is a particular jolt that happens every year at this time. It's not subtle. When the shift occurs, the story I tell myself is that Brother Sun has entered the earth where he can rest in the dark until winter solstice.

Usually this shift occurs over a period of about a week, but in 2007, it all happened in one 24-hour period. Yesterday was the day. In the morning, it was strangely warm, not like Thanksgiving at all. The air was soft and gold, the trees were gold, the sky itself looked gold - as if someone had upended a gigantic pitcher of sunlight over the whole city.

Late in the afternoon, as people all over America were sinking into carbohydrate-liquor-L.Triptophan induced stupors, Brother Wind ripped through Washington DC, bringing the gold in the trees down to ground level, clearing the heat and humidity. There was also a quick rainstorm, like an exclamation point, in case we hadn't noticed. Brother Wind was apparently in quite a mood.

By this morning, the pavements were buried under deep stacks of crunchy gold, (even the sidewalks that were just swept yesterday). The sky was bright blue again. It was cold, too, as it should be right now.

The sun entered the earth, slamming the door behind him, while people feasted and rested and watched Hugh Grant movies. Very cool. In this crazy, moody midatlantic swamp I call home, my fancy seasonal metaphors play themselves out literally. I love that!

Sleep tight, Brother Sun,. Sweet dreams 'till 2008. Goodnight!


Steve said...

And actually, it seemed to get colder and colder as the day wore on!

Barbara said...

Did you ever wonder why we humans don't hibernate through the winter, as do bears and turtles and any number of other animals? Is it necessary for us to be reminded about survival and cold and dark so that when the heat and light return we are sufficiently grateful? As much as I hate the cold, I do like the long shadows cast by the diminished Winter sun.