Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sunset Doesn't Last All Evening

It's been sneaking up on us for weeks, technically for more than a month. The hours of daylight have already started to shrink and we're not even to August. The little boy in me (okay, very, very deep inside of me. Happy now?) always feels sad when I realize the getting dark after dinner part is starting earlier and earlier. 

It's not like I'm hurrying to clean my plate so I can be excused to go over to Neil's house and then down the street to Bobby's and call them to come out and play catch. Heck, if those two are in half the shape I'm in, by the time we get to the sandlot, it'll be pitch black. Life called on account of darkness. There's one for the stat books.

When I drive to work in the morning, not as early as Adam, who has that lucrative part-time job as a chicken waker-upper, but still pretty early, there's really no rosy fingers of dawn trying to pry back the cloud cover where the road and the road collide. It's dark, period and it stays that way a little longer every day, just as quietly as the days lengthened in the spring. 

As hot and humid as it's been here in Southeast Connecticut (I really hate when I break a sweat early in the morning not doing anything but standing in one place, inhaling and exhaling), I'll whine just as piteously (actually more so) in February when the snow's crisp and even and the temperature is hovering somewhere south of freezing. I'm the person who bitches if he's hanged with a new rope. But the seasonal dying of the light saddens me, especially as I age, because I see life as a measured commodity and don't appreciate reminders that it flows within and without me, especially the latter aspect.

One of the Facebook friends I have (an acquaintance, as are most of them, at best) was observing the other day how grey the skies were where they are right now-which I think is probably a kinder idea in the spring and summer than in the autumn and fall since during the latter many of us peer at the heavens warily and observe 'if it gets any colder, with this sky, it'll snow.' Because they are considerably younger than I am, as are most people on earth, I didn't comment on the slightly disappointed tone of unhappiness they had about the weather and its impact on their family working vacation. You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain, but when you are, you should be kinder than when twenty isn't visible in the mirror anymore.  

Besides, having won an all-expense paid stay at the Miami of the North, Sondrestrom Air Base, Greenland, in the middle Seventies where in addition to triple digit below zero (Fahrenheit) temperature and winds in excess of  seventy miles an hour coming off the Polar Cap, we had twenty-four hour daylight that became twenty-four hour darkness, I always remember the day in late January when the sun was first visible over Mount Ferguson (not to be confused with Lake Ferguson, or Craig Ferguson for that matter) for no more than about three minutes (maybe), but we didn't care. It was Independence Day, New Year's and Mardi Gras all rolled into one, reminding us it's not always going to be this grey.  
-bill kenny 

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