Thursday, November 4, 2010

musings on long nights, changing seasons

Suddenly it is dark when I wake up. When I return home, the sun is low in the sky. Night comes early.

On WMUA--my local community radio station-- Louise Dunphy does a program on Samhain--the Celtic New Year. A time when the boundaries between the living and the dead are looser.  The turning of the season.  Bonfires, divinations. An old Celtic tradition--the crops must be gathered before the Festival or the fairies will spoil the remains. Men and woman exchange clothes.  It is a wild, uncertain time. Hard to get accustomed to the dark and the dread of winter.

Friends of mine--neighbors--have purchased an RV. They are frantically packing and sorting their lives to head south before "the big freeze". This is a ritual passage--beloved items from his father and his youth are now passed on to the son-in-law for "safe storage."An almost melancholy relinquishing of youthful pranks for the adventure and warmth of the open road. Dreams of alligators and panthers in the Everglades. There will be an absence in the circle of friends. Thanksgiving has been moved.

Across the country I am saddened by how quickly hope has faded. An anger, despair has fallen across so many. The slow progress to solutions has not eased their hurt and pain.  I am glad to live in Massachusetts. I am glad for the governor soft spoken, gentle, kind. Sure of himself and his principles. He actually came to town. I met him. I shook his hand.

And I know that despite this gloom, in slightly more than a month the afternoons will again start to lengthen. We will gather with friends for Thanksgiving. Soon, the snow will provide its own light.  Bright moonlight reflected on the meadow. Sometimes even Venus creates shadows. The crisp air will clear my thoughts as I snowshoe to a nearby vista to watch the sun rise. Then toasty warm next to my DH.

How fitting that I am now making a large variation on first light. It will stretch across a wall in a lovely new living room. Echoing the promise of the dawn. So bright and happy the colors. Such fun searching through my fabric finding just that perfect bit of rose and gold, the dreams of the blue rising.

The perfect quilt to be making during this season of dark.  And you dear reader, what do you do to keep busy during this season? Do you also dread the return of standard time? Or is this a time of thinking inward? Thinking forward? Setting goals?


  1. Wonderful post to go with the beauty of your hard work.

  2. Very nice! My Fiancee and I look forward to the changing of the seasons and cool weather. The promise of snow, and snowshoeing through the woods. We have more than enough to keep us busy during the long winter - printing in the shop, and on the coffee table with the little press. Soapmaking, creating art and linoleum cuts. Spring will be here soon enough, maybe too soon?

  3. Thanks so much Robin and Nancy. Steve, I know what you mean--I too look forward to winter after this period of change and almost find that spring comes too soon--although by March and April I must confess I am ready for warm weather.

  4. One time I took a walk in the snow. It was during one of those snow storms when everyone stays off the roads, and the stillness that came over me was amazing. It was as if nothing in the world was ever wrong, and that time and space didn't even matter. I looked up and the swirling snow floated in every direction reflecting the street light and promising to be instantly wet and cold when it hit my face. I wish I could say I enjoy winter, I don't, it makes my body ache, but I did enjoy that moment.
    I am filling my stash now for those short winter days that seem so long- you mentioned a fabric store you go to- I forgot the name- maybe I should make the trip now! Maybe it's in Deerfield? I will have to go back and check old posts sometime. By the way. Love the quilts and the deep thoughts too.

  5. Hi Lisa,

    I love The Textile Company in Power Square, Greenfield. Basically if you go up I91 to Exit 26, head east into Greenfield. @2nd stoplight (Dunkin Donuts) turn Right. Follow the road around. It will be on your left.Great store. Enjoy. Also A Notion to Quilt in Shelburne on Route 2 is good.