Tuesday, December 13, 2005

moon of dark days

We have reached the point in the year where the sun sets at its earliest; 4:28 at my longitude, if the charts are right. It will remain this way for a week or so, then even before the winter solstice, the sun will start to set later. By New Year's, we will have a full ten minutes more on the afternoon side of daylight, although the sun will still be rising later and later in the morning.

I still feel, especially on gray cloudy days like today, that the sun makes at best a token appearance. When I leave for work at 7:30, it is just starting to get light. When I leave work at 4:30, it is just starting to get dark. Which means I don't get much of a chance to look for wildlife or enjoy the beauty of snow on bogs while I am driving. I keep my car CD player well stocked with good music to pass the time.

Today, on the way home, I wondered about the driving habits, and what it says about character, of so many. A pickup truck, presumably driven by a young male, pulled out off the freeway exit ahead of me, not bothering to stop for the intersection. No danger to me, but the way the engine revved through the nonexistent muffler left me to think: This guy probably lives for driving like this. Nothing else matters, nothing else can fill the void in his soul like revving that engine. That kind of despair is what we are dealing with.

I was looking at the full moon early this morning, about 2:30 or so, veiled in wisps of clouds that backlit the silhouettes of white pine branches. I thought about how the moon, far away as it looks, still pulls on the oceans, controlling the tides, controlling the blood within all of us. I thought about how it is the same old moon that all of us see, and how that somehow brings us together.

It is a time for huddling around a wood fire, for enjoying the warmth of a cup of tea during the day and a warm comforter at night. The earth is waiting for the return of the light. How important that must have seemed in the days before the perpetual light of electricity.

6 comments:

Rexroth's Daughter said...

I've been thinking the same things. How we all look up at the same moon. How we are all waiting for the return of the sun. It's what connects us to each other and to all the others who walked this earth so long ago. We may know more now about tides and seasons, but we still look up with the same longing.

Floridacracker said...

Funny, for us this a bright time with our clearest skies at night, bluest day skies,no bugs, and finally (Thank you God) no humidity to speak of.

Every once in a while we get a few days of gloomy stalled front, but mostly it's the best time to be outside.

the dharma bum said...

hey deb. what a nice post. so many good thoughts so smoothly tied together.

i couldn't help but be reminded of my post of a couple months ago in your thoughts about the moon:

http://dharmablog.everyday-beat.org/2005/10/11/i-could-walk-into-the-sea/

stay warm and out of the ditch!

Deb said...

Rexroth's Daughter- those are good thoughts to remember at each full moon.

Floridacracker- Sounds about like September in Minnesota!

dharma bum- thanks, and I did think back to your post as I was looking at the moon. I also thought of Floridacracker's post about the salt marsh.

Had about 6 inches of snow overnight, and it's still coming down heavily! The drive to work was slow; I didn't hit the plowed roads until about 12 miles from home. I don't imagine the last couple of miles of gravel road to my house will be plowed by the time I come home either.

Sylvia said...

I wonder if there would be less Seasonal Affective Disorder if people didn't resist the darkness with electric lights but adjusted their behaviour to match it? What if we all followed nature's lead and dreamed all winter?

Clare said...

Very nice Deb.

Was just thinking that I had to find a place where I could see the moon behind our house, above the hills and take a picture of them. Well Travis is asleep, maybe tonight.