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.