Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I am counting the days to the winter solstice. It isn't, I tell myself, a perpetual sense that the grass is greener in the season farthest from me. It's a human anticipation of the turning of the year, a gleeful faith that that other good season will come again.

Earth daringly leans away from Sol, our half of the hemisphere tilting into darkness until an overtoppling into permanent night seems inevitable. The small, bright strands of Christmas lights in windows and on trees seem almost like a beacon, a weak imitation reminding the sun that he is craved and beloved and that we beg him to return. We dig in our heels against the nights that loom and lengthen, we heave hard on the reins, and yet nothing avails us but these pale lights gleaming in our dusk, bravely beaming out our unconscious hopeful plea: return, return, return.

And every year, almost imperceptibly, it happens. The trump sounds. Arthur wakes. The cycle turns, and the sun returns.