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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Long Shadows Fall

The long shadows stretch their way across the nearly frozen earth. Most all of the myriad of trees are devoid of the frilly leaves attached by a thread to their branches during much of the year. The longest day of the year has just passed. And we've got a blue moon tomorrow -- on the very last day of 2009. Ominous and fun.

Call me crazy if you must, but I enjoy this time of year. The color of the sky is such an unusual one. (Well, that's if the sky in Portland is ever anything except for gray...which I also get into.) The blue is a quiet blue. A peaceful and unobtrusive blue. A winter sort of pale blue. There are birds, but few. We do have many flocks of beautiful geese who winter here by the hundreds. I love knowing that they are safe and able to rest here with us in this season of cold and delight. Delightfully barren. I think I also enjoy this time of year because so many other people don't. I tend to migrate toward the underdog in that way many times. The lesser known or enjoyed is often the one I gravitate toward.

It snowed about three inches across our city yesterday afternoon. It was Portland's first measurable snow of the season and created nothing but trouble. Portland is just that way. Some years (last year!) we had about 20 inches on the ground right now. And some years we have zero. It looks like the winter wonderlands that are scripted in fantasy poems, songs, plays and books. I like it when things are asleep. Quiet. In resolve. Peaceful. Contemplative. And that's the way I see winter. Especially this portion when the nights seem to stretch on forever and the warming rays of the sun are not seen nor felt. I was staring at the one of the trees outside of our window just this morning -- watching how the dark, barren branches simply hang. Nothing to do but recuperate from a long growing season. Resting up for next season. For the next big hurrah of their lives. In fact, they aren't made to keep going, to always have leaves on their branches. They are designed to regenerate and recreate each season.

Me too. Happy Fresh New Year my friends. To each of us.

22 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

happy new year to you and blair and mason!

Mark in DE said...

Its nice that you find beauty and peace in the weather this time of year. Happy new year!!

Ur-spo said...

may 2010 be marvelous for you both.

LSL said...

What a great post. I agree - this time of year is all about looking back and forward in a peaceful way.

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! :)

Stephen Chapman... said...

In England, we have a couple of inches of snow and the nation grinds to a halt!

Lemuel said...

To new beginnings and new years! Happy New Year, Lewis!

bridgeout said...

Thank you for giving me a new eye for this time of year. There is even beauty in the gray and barren and cold. I love this line...
"They are designed to regenerate and recreate each season."
I wonder how people might benefit if they also had a season that it was *ok* to be barren and regenerate. Hmm...
Warm new year wishes to you friend!

Birdie said...

A quiet beginning to a new year; that's the way I like it. Let this upcoming year be one of peace and synchronicity.

Blair said...

Another new year awaits us. I am so excited and lucky to be sharing it with you and Mason.

I too love it when the lush green beauty that surrounds us is stripped down to just being bare and stark and vulnerable. It puts it all in perspective doesn't it?

Here's to looking back and learning and laughing and growing. Here's to looking forward with our heads up, shoulders back and ready to take on whatever 2010 has in store for us. Whatever it is, it will be wonderful spending it with you! Here's to the peace we both enjoy in our lives.

cb said...

Have a great new year! All my best in 2010!!

Thom said...

Happy 2010, Lewis!

Anonymous said...

Ring out the old,ring in the new,ring happy bells across the snow(Tennyson)Thank you for your blog.It has made me happy and the current one is poetical:I would say a poem in prose.May God protect you and your partner and have a very HNY

annie said...

i love the way you describe your city this time of year. i, too, am enjoying the fresh crispness of winter. so many more clothing choices!

happy new year!!!

Greg said...

Happy New Year to you both!

Anonymous said...

I love your writing and if you are OK about a middle aged straight married "mom" reading it from the UK I will continue to do so. If you are not then I will probably still read it but keep my mouth shut!!!!!
Here in cheshire we had an amazing Blue Moon with a partial Lunar Eclipse on the last day of 2009, in a clear cold night sky it was amazing, we get such a lot of cloud that a clear sky is a thing of beauty to be appreciated.
Wishing a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and your readers.
nix

Alan Bennett Ilagan said...

Arnie - A Happy New Year to you and yours as well. You always seem to cheer me with your spirit and wisdom, and this post proves true on both counts. Thanks for all the supportive words and encouragement over the years - I wish you the best for the New Year my friend - A.

Palm Springs Savant said...

wanted to stop by and wish you a happy new year! here's to a great 2010

pdxbator said...

Happy New Year!

Rick said...

All that chaos with 3 inches of snow!

I can be a beautiful time of year. Happy New Year!

CJ/Rick said...

I love this time of year/season also Lewis. Beautiful sentiments and banner photo too. Happy New Year!

Dean Grey said...

A Lewis!

I totally agree with you on this!

I tend to be very quiet, shy, and not much of a social butterfly, so I often spend my time outdoors when everyone else is not.

That includes the frigid days of winter, the chilly nights of fall, and the rainy days of spring and summer!

-Dean

Steven said...

I hope the beginnings of 2010 have been a great one for you so far. Now if you could just experience a few more feet of snow before Spring arrives. ;-)