Tonight, December 21st, is the longest night of the year, Winter Solstice. From here on the days will be getting longer. The season’s change is visible all through town, When I arrived in the summer watermelons were piled next to the entrance to the co-op, in fall the watermelons gave way to pumpkins, the pumpkins dissapeared to become vartieties of squash, which have now become Christmas trees, live of course, it is a co-op.
When I arrived in August the walnut tree over the back porch was dressed in thick green leathery leaves, an expansive umbrella of shade. In September and October the walnuts dropped, one by one rolling off the steps cascading off the roof to ping off the fence next door. By the end of November the tree had dropped all of its walnuts and the last of its leaves. Now a robust skeleton, fresh snowfall piles flake by flake, delicately, on the curved surface of the branches. The day warms and the once fluffy piles perched precariously begin to plop sloppily on the deck below, sometimes the top of my head.
Warm summer nights brought out throaty-engined muscle cars that revved up and down the Rogue Valley. The sound now in winter the crackle of studded tires on bare concrete and the rattle of chains on snow packed roads. Bike rides require more clothes and less water, days are shorter though the sunsets just as golden.
The foraging days of fall, picking berries, figs, apples, pears, grapes, plums are memories on my tongue. Hands now covered in gloves and not dyed dark with blackberry nectar, berry bushes now exposing their prickly thorns through the faint figure of the leaves surrenduring to the harsh wet and cold. Rogue Valley’s surplus of apple and pears housed in large cold storage unitsto be sold through the winter at cheaper prices than they were sold during the summer, not sure how that one works.
How would the winter be if I was to dig a den in the side of the mountain. Sky above swathed in smooth cirrus clouds, earth blanketed in snow, my body blanketed in fur and fattened from a summer of berries and trout. Then, only, would I sleep until Spring?
Changes of the seasons remind me all is in flux. Over years, decades and centuries, all changes are a cumulative result of smaller changes occuring over seconds, minutes, inhales and exhales.