Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Time of the Year

Morning comes. This is my favorite time of the year, when the days are short, quiet, and tender; when the nights are long and fierce with stars or rain. Not even the so-called holidays can entirely ruin it. For all their desperate music and laughter, their garish lights and sweet wine, their candies and rich sauces, their gatherings where they earnestly assure each other that everything they think is dead on correct -- they know, they know that this is my time of the year, when the forest is most awake and you can hear its deep, intent breathing, when the rain comes long and hard and the light comes only in glimmers. They hold their loud, noisy festivals now, because they do know it, and are trying not to know it. This is the time when the old world is near and undeniable: cold water, damp wood, hard stone. This is when slow, deliberate creatures open their eyes and consider them: not with contempt -- that is a motion of the spirit these creatures have never known -- but with slow, impartial curiosity. You can meet their eyes, and learn something about yourself; or you can scuttle indoors, switch the TV on loud, and make all the lights in the house blaze. Well: it's no secret what most of you will choose.

9 comments:

mm said...

(o)

kristenburkholder said...

Thank you Dale. We have been having ice storms, blizzards and power outages here in Maine. The old world is an ever present reminder, and your words are deeply encouraging.

Dale said...

xo thanks! I wondered if I was merely being bratty, but it's my policy to make the blog post and let it stand :-)

am said...

For all the reasons you mention, this is my favorite time of year, too. Yes to the slow impartial curious creatures and the nights long and fierce with stars or rain. Thank you for this post today.

Zhoen said...

Both, in turn. Even then, I prefer minor key, old and haunted tunes. Silent with dim colored lights, dark beer. Snuggled down, listening to the old gods.

rbarenblat said...

Thank you for reminding me, dear Dale, that there are things to treasure about this cold and dark season. I struggle so with the days when our child wakes me well before sunrise and darkness falls during the afternoon. I fully admit to using candles, hearth fires, evergreen boughs, great goblets of red wine -- every tool I can find to help me through this dark point in the year...

Dale said...

You live in a very different country, Rachel! Where the cold is really bitter, and the water really freezes, and things really die down. Here in the maritime Northwest we just go into the long dream time: cloud, rain, dark, but still green and flowing.

Beth said...

Slightly bratty, but amusingly so! It is white, dry, and bitter cold here: we have a foot and a half of snow in the city, and my friend just wrote to say that out at her place in the countryside they have three feet. So no sense of slow-eyed creatures in the dark, but maybe some quick elves in the outcrops! I love this time of year too, because there is more mystery than at any other time. Happy New Year, Dale.

Dale said...

Happy new year, Beth!