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.
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?