Saturday, December 21, 2013

Solstice sunrise?

Happy Winter Solstice! (I think that's an appropriate greeting.) As near as I can tell, we Minnesotans are suffering overcast conditions as they did at Stonehenge, but our celebrations are likely to be quite tame compared to the festivities our cousins across the pond engaged in. If our local weather were more cooperative, I might have been able to grab a solstice shot something like this, minus the leaves of course. Maybe next year?

local sunrise (not solstice)
local sunrise (not solstice)     © harrington

Is it just me or do you detect a slight similarity in appearance between Merlin and a certain jolly old elf who's going to be visiting in just a few days? I doubt I could get behind Santa with a sword. That's carrying the naughty and nice thing too far, but since I've never heard of Santa arriving at Stonehenge, I don't think we have to worry. Santa comes at night after we're all asleep and the celebration at Stonehenge is during the day when we're awake (although some of the folks at the Stonehenge celebration may make us think we're dreaming). If you use your imagination a little, you might be able to picture a sunrise in this photo, which is about what it looks like around here today.

winter morning
winter morning             © harrington

I hope you're grateful for the beauty provided for free in our Minnesota. Think about what your taxes might be like if it weren't for the free services Mother Nature gives us. Aren't clean air and clean water among the best presents ever? Where would we be without them? One of my Christmas wishes is for fewer children who "forget everything." I'm trying to figure out how to go back and remember.

That Child

By David Wagoner 
That child was dangerous. That just-born
    Newly washed and silent baby
         Wrapped in deerskin and held warm
Against the side of its mother could understand
    The language of birds and animals
         Even when asleep. It knew why Bluejay
Was scolding the bushes, what Hawk was explaining
   To the wind on the cliffside, what Bittern had found out
         While standing alone in marsh grass. It knew
What the screams of Fox and the whistling of Otter
    Were telling the forest. That child knew
         The language of Fire
As it gnawed at sticks like Beaver
    And what Water said all day and all night
         At the creek's mouth. As its small fingers
Closed around Stone, it held what Stone was saying.
    It knew what Bear Mother whispered to herself
         Under the snow. It could not tell
Anyone what it knew. It would laugh
    Or cry out or startle or suddenly stare
         At nothing, but had no way
To repeat what it was hearing, what it wanted most
    Not to remember. It had no way to know
         Why it would fall under a spell
And lie still as if not breathing,
    Having grown afraid
         Of what it could understand. That child would learn
To sit and crawl and stand and begin
    Putting one foot forward and following it
         With the other, would learn to put one word
It could barely remember slightly ahead
    Of the other and then walk and speak
         And finally run and chatter,
And all the Tillamook would know that child
    Had forgotten everything and at last could listen
         Only to people and was safe now.

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