Monday, December 21, 2009

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons - "Winter"

Today is the first day of winter.

It seems like winter is the "end" -- end of the year. Cold, dark, everything dies. But winter mostly takes place in January through March, at the beginning of the year.

We think of winter as meaning weather. Rain, snow, sleet, slush. And dark. Candles, flashlights. We have all these inventions to keep the dark away. Front porch lights, motion sensors, night lights. We do not like the dark. If nothing else, we can trip and fall in the dark because we can't see. But it's really more than that.

Bad things hide in the dark. Bogeymen, muggers, burglars, robbers. People who would harm us. People who go away in the summer, hide somewhere rather than expose themselves to the bright light. People like Dick Cheney, the pale bloodless cellar-dweller who apparently has never exposed himself to sunlight, preferring to live on the "dark side" of things, as he puts it. People like that creep and crawl all over the streets in winter, just waiting for the chance to do us harm. But if we have a light -- even a match -- they can't touch us. We're safe.

There is nothing quite as good as having a tough trip home after a long day, driving or walking or riding through dark, cold, mostly vacant streets, feeling like nobody else is fool enough to still be outside, then finally arriving at whatever we call "home," where there is light, there is warmth, there may be a hot shower and a good meal. Winter sends us into our caves to regroup, to be grateful if we have a cave to go to. And hopeful that spring will come again, as it has in the past.

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