In the Cold Sun
There is less daylight in this hemisphere, and it is a colder light, now that the leaves are gone. Without the green buffer the trains going by at night sound as if they are half the distance away, giant mechanical wolves howling in the dark. Nature is stripped down and on the sharper side of keen as we approach the front door of winter.
Elegy for the Light
It is probably a good idea to deliberately consider what one is thankful for at this time of year, lest the raw light and the sharp darkness completely distort what comfort there is to be found.
Things have been a little subdued of late because my daughter-in-law had a miscarriage. Our dear girl is fine now and she and my son have been amazing as they dealt with the grief, disappointment, and everything else that comes with facing something you can’t do anything about. They have learned of a surprising number of similar experiences among their friends and acquaintances, and also of the many ways people can react, from support to fear to seeming indifference.
The things we cannot control are the things which shape perspective. Individual experiences shape our personalities, family experiences shape our immediate lives, and collective experiences such as tsunamis and war shape entire cultures. Loss, as harsh as it sounds, is relative. So, too, is gratitude.
I am thankful for many things, and could go through a widely-familiar litany of them, but this year some things were more to the front than others, requiring particular thanks:
- The patience others show me
- Family and friends with wisdom
- Modern technology
- Doors that haven’t yet closed to me
- The opportunity to take advantage of the above
And of course I am thankful for readers past, present, and future.
We will have an untraditional Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow of Pad Thai something, spring rolls, a few other things I’ll decide on in the next hour when I’m at the grocery store, and probably sorbets of some kind for dessert. Most of it will be ready-made as opposed to from-scratch, which will be a real change of pace around here, as well, but it’s that sort of time. And I’m thankful to be able to do so.