Monday, December 22, 2014

Let the sun come out

It’s a wonderful time of the year. 

We hear again the beautiful old carols and picture all the different moments the music has entered our hearts to place us at the Christmas scene.

As official winter begins (yesterday was winter solstice) we’re in a bit of a weather warm-up. This didn’t look very likely after an early chilly start to the season.

Our lawns, back to emerald green, have thrown off their snowy quilt for the time being. 

With staying snow arriving November 10 we were prepared for another endless stretch of snow cover like last year. This changeable cycle, perhaps attributable to El Nino, is called a reprieve by many of us.

Chances for a white holiday are discussed daily. Green grass may be very temporary. The forecast has snow in it before Christmas Day.

There were three days of fifty degree readings last week. It was as though we collectively packed up and moved to Tennessee. 

It rained the last day of this mid-month mild spell. As temperatures fell precipitation came as freezing rain before changing over to snow. We were left with an inch of snow on ground that had been newly bare.

The brief transition to freezing rain glued our mailbox shut. It took more than a yank to break the ice lock on the mailbox door the next day.

When I couldn’t open it (with as determined a pull as I could muster) there was no question as to the next step. I called Al. He had more persuasive influence. He wrenched the door free so we could put out the last of our Christmas cards.

While the thermometer in these parts has been everywhere the sun isn’t around at all. 

We recall two sunny days this month but (for honesty’s sake) we didn’t start counting until the sun started not to show up. December 22 being today, two bright days aren't a great percentage based on our informal recall.

There was one other sun sighting besides the two noted days. This third appearance brought pure joy. 

Sun wasn’t in the forecast for that day. It just happened. The sun broke through cloud cover, which had hung on all day, and dazzled us for about thirty minutes toward setting time.

The first Saturday of December was the sunniest day as we scan our memory.  

We opted not to go directly home after finishing up some shopping that afternoon. Maybe the cheerful sun had some part in it. Maybe it was teasing us to stay out in it and enjoy it.

Constructing our plan on the spot, we decided to make a drive of the area we were in. (We know the area somewhat, but you can always learn a place better.) 

The idea was that we'd wind up in an an adjacent neighborhood and eat out. Maybe, without formulating it as a thought, it was kind of a celebration of the sunny day and the sparkle that overlays the holiday season. 

It was beautifully sunny. The sun came in mellow through the car windows. We remarked on the sun. We admired it, as you do winter sun. We commented that it did much (in theory, anyway) to offset the coolness in the air.

The sun dropped behind the snowy hills as late afternoon came on. It created an orangeish glow at the horizon where the low sun remained visible through scattered stands of evergreens.

As the sun set we thought we were saying goodbye to the sun until tomorrow. We didn’t have a clue how long its absence would be. 

It deserved a much grander send-off. For sure I know I’d have whispered to it as it sank out of sight, “Goodbye, farewell, old friend, until we meet again.” 

Ro Giencke – December 22, 2014


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