October 02, 2004


As I saw the giant yellow orb, partially occluded by clouds and slung low above the horizon, I realised that summer was well and truly over. Each morning on my way to work, the sun is just a little later getting up. Each day, it makes a smaller arc across the sky. Now that the equinox has passed, the days will race into winter.

The next time I see summer again, I will be 41. It will undoubtedly be a shorter summer than the one just spent. We get so few days anyway (though we should be thankful for each one, as we deserve none of them), so how insignificant are the number of those on either side of the solstice when the daylight lasts until nearly midnight and the birds begin to sing again around 3:30? I love those summer days.

But now I need to enjoy the crispness of autumn. It, too, will only be here a short while. Sometime around Mrs H's birthday, it will still be officially autumn, but really winter. One of the only regrets I have of living in Britain is missing deer season in Texas. I missed most of it whenever I lived in Indiana, and I haven't really hunted regularly since sometime in the 80's, I suppose. But now that the Great White Hunter, my little brother, is buried a few miles from the deer lease, I'm sure I would go more often just to attempt in vain to recapture the days of my youth. And I realise that this autumn is one more that will pass without so much as loading a 30-30 cartridge into the chamber of my Model 94.

I've never really liked winter, but I will hate to see it go, if for no other reason than I want to save up the remaining times that I see the new life of spring.

It reminds me of a song with which I used to open my solo shows:

And the wheels go 'round and 'round
The sun comes up and the sun goes down
On the trivial and profound
Like Ezekiel we all watch
As the wheels go 'round.

I don't know when the equinox of our perception of time occurs, but I can tell you that for me it has long since passed. I've been around the Sun forty times. I may not even have as many more trips left. The thing that amazes me is that as it revolves faster and faster, year on year, centrifugal force doesn't just spin it out of orbit.

As if I needed a further reminder of mortality, my brother's gravestone was set this week. The last of his possessions were distributed and my sister-in-law moved back to Indiana. To future generations, eventually we are a name and date carved into a piece of granite. If they are lucky, a few artefacts might survive to be passed down. The seasons will come and go for those still alive until they, too, give up their bodies to the earth and their spirits to God.

I know that we are to look forward to that day when for each of us death is swallowed up by life. Nonetheless, I will continue to appreciate each day I see the sun rise above the horizon and arc across the sky.

Posted by david at October 2, 2004 10:32 PM | TrackBack
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