Monday, December 10, 2007

The Light Grows Ever Shorter

Folly Cove, December 10, 2:40pm

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,

In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

-Christina Rossetti

Maureen's back. Today is one of those days that never quite brightens beyond a grim twilight. We have been subject to mixed precipitation since about 9 last night - rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain. Leslie called it "sleezing."

When I lived farther inland, it was easier to ignore what was happening in the natural world, being surrounded by trees, wreaths, Santa hats, scurrying pedestrians, rushing cars. Here in Rockport, the contrast between Christmas and winter solstice is clearly evident. On the inland side of Granite Street, it's all brightly lit and beribboned. Turn your head and look out to sea. It's all shades of coldest gray. The ocean itself is barely moving; the waves are small as though the sea were huddled in on itself, trying to retain warmth.

It is an ancient custom in our hemisphere to acknowledge the dying and rebirth of the light. I wonder about my pagan ancestors in Ireland and the winter solstice. What were their fears? What did they think when they looked out to a sea as gray as Folly Cove is today?


Unknown said...

Tis gray indeed. I'm just a couple blocks up from the harbor and it is bitterly cold here and dark. The old cemetery behind my house is still white from this morning's snow.

I thought about going to the store but talked myself out of it. Think I'll curl up with some knitting and an audiobook. I just got Gabriel Byrne reading his autobiography "Pictures in My Head". Now there's a voice to snuggle into winter with....

Folly Cove Fiber Freaks said...

Maureen, you certainly captured the mood in the cove.