The season is changing -- nothing new, happens every four months or so. Those of us who have always lived in the temperate zones are attuned, probably in more ways than we are consciously aware, to changes of light, temperature and nature around us. As the days grow shorter and the darkness longer, as we have many days of gray skies, chilly winds, leaves skittering underfoot, dampness not yet turning to snow, something a little like bearish hibernation seems welcome, even immanent.
This came to mind as I was drinking coffee a short while ago and thinking how very nice had been a long night's sleep. After a couple of restless nights, last night I went to bed a bit early, fell asleep quickly and awoke about eight hours later feeling satisfied as I listened to the voice on the clock radio that began saying it would rain all day and maybe all day tomorrow. I wish that weren't so but it's also okay. I have many indoor things I want to do. And then music began to play. I did not have to hurry out of bed for any reason so lay listening to music until something in my body said, "ready!" And I got up. I realize that for large, large numbers of people even those ten minutes or so are a luxury they rarely enjoy. They have work, expectations, necessities to tend to and have to get up and get busy.
I thought of Jame Smiley's big book The Greenlanders, well researched and enjoyable although it's not one of her most successful. I believe she was writing of how people actually lived a thousand years ago in a horribly harsh climate when she described those settlers who had very little food or fuelgot through the winter by essentially hibernating. They took to their beds for the majority of those almost endlessly dark arctic nights. So many images from that book, read many years ago, have stayed with me. I think many of us can feel that rhythmic instinct with the seasons that our distant ancestors going back to before civilization must have responded to.
ELDER MUSIC: Send More Chuck Berry - This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge an...
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