16 October 2010

The Sun is just

peeking over the trees and it is 7:23 a.m.  Wow.  You can really feel the collapse of the light as fall seems to gather speed.  And within grows the natural tug toward the celebration of light itself against the weakened sun:  fires, candles, and before long Christmas lights.  It touches something deep down inside of us, and our faith takes it and reveals through it something deeper by far, as we sing in the Benedictus at Matins:  "through the tender mercy of our God the Day shall dawn upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."  There is a darkness deeper far than the darkest, longest, coldest night.  But even in that darkness - in the very shadow of death itself - Light shone that transformed death forever, destroyed it literally from the inside out.

6 comments:

Eric said...

I'm a Stephen King fan, and he sums up that seasonal shift really well in his book 'Salem's Lot.


Fall and spring came to Jerusalem's Lot with the same suddenness of sunrise and sunset in the tropics. The line of demarcation could be as thin as one day. But spring is not the finest season in New England — it's too short, too uncertain, too apt to turn savage on short notice. Even so, there are April days which linger in the memory even after one has forgotten the wife's touch, or the feel of the baby's toothless mouth at the nipple. But by mid-May, the sun, rises out of the morning's haze with authority and potency, and standing on your top step at seven in the morning with your dinner bucket in your hand, you know that the dew will be melted off the grass by eight and that the dust on the back roads will hang depthless and still in the air for five minutes after a car's passage; and that by one in the afternoon it will be up to ninety-five on the third floor of the mill and the sweat will roll off your arms like oil and stick your shirt to your back in a widening patch and it might as well be July.

But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.

It stays on through October and, in rare years, on into November. Day after day the skies are a clear, hard blue, and the clouds that float across them, always west to east, are calm white ships with gray keels. The wind begins to blow by the day, and it is never still. It hurries you along as you walk the roads, crunching the leaves that have fallen in mad and variegated drifts. The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die — migrate or die. Even in your house, behind square walls, the wind beats against the wood and the glass and sends its fleshless pucker against the eaves and sooner or later you have to put down what you were doing and go out and see. And you can stand on your stoop or in your dooryard at midafternoon and watch the cloud shadows rush across Griffen's pasture and up Schoolyard Hill, light and dark, light and dark, like the shutters of the gods being opened and closed. You can see the goldenrod, that most tenacious and pernicious and beauteous of all New England flora, bowing away from the wind like a great and silent congregation. And if there are no cars or planes, and if no one's Uncle John is out in the wood lot west of town banging away at a quail or pheasant; if the only sound is the slow beat of your own heart, you can hear another sound, and that is the sound of life winding down to its cyclic close, waiting for the first winter snow to perform last rites.


My overactive imagination prevents me from enjoying his horror, so I never actually finished the book, but this scene was written so beautifully that it proved to me that Stephen King writes more than just throw-away trash.

William Weedon said...

Beautiful, Eric. He has the gift!

Past Elder said...

You guys sure get a lot of mileage out of axial tilt and the related phenomenon of seasonal lag due to thermal latency in a planet that's mostly water, like Earth.

scott miller said...

Pastor Elder... to funny!

Past Elder said...

Glad you liked it -- but I ain't a pastor!

scott said...

My apologies for the misunderstanding...