Sunday, February 2, 2020

Groundhog Day

I haven't been at my most cheerful. And while we could accurately ascribe this to a wide range of influences, simple and complex, superficial and deeply psychological, one very common, obvious reason has presented itself. And who am I, in my weakened state, to spurn it?

The reason is darkness. Literal darkness is to blame for my sadness.

Did you know that The Earth is spinning towards The Sun? But slowly. It also angles itself towards The Sun in this part of the world now. Less slowly, but still taking its time.

During the short days I look out the windows and see a gloom of pale light. It has been one of our darkest, most cloudy Winters on record. Sometimes, especially at work, I forget to look out any window at all. The murky puddles of half-light do not much draw one's consideration. Early in the evenings I'll remember I am on a world, in a universe, and I'll look towards the windows.


This Winter there have been a number of problems with the parking lot lights at my library. Often they stay off all night. And when they do, our library, surrounded on three sides by parking lot, and on one side by a semi-glorious backyard wetland wilderness, is set off as if into an ocean, adrift in nothingness. It's kind of breathtaking. Like when there's a rainbow, or a magnificent sunset, when the the darkness hits us that hard we gather at the windows.

"It's amazing." We say.

"It's just so black out there."

"I hope no one dies from the lack of visibility."

It's so dark. 

Groundhog Day really is the least of all holidays. How does it go? If he sees his shadow, more Winter; if he doesn't...

No one has seen a shadow around here for months. Joy is just around the corner.

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