Friday, February 02, 2007

The Rotation of the Earth

Some people hate winter--the cold, the gray skies, the light deprivation, and all that--but I like it. I like the natural cycle of the earth's rotation. It's clockwork, and it never fails. When you grow up in a place with changing seasons, so much is governed by that rotation. You are conditioned to approach each shift with all of your being--it's more than just mittens in the winter and shorts in the summer.

In the spring, you sweep away old road salt and paint the shudders. You step out in the morning and take in a good whiff of fresh green growing things, and you do the two-step in the driveway to avoid squashing the worms. You hope for just enough rain, and you munch on jelly beans you've plucked from plastic eggs.

In the summer, you go outside and drink cold things and kick off your shoes. You feel like stretching your arms straight out at your sides and spinning like a whirligig. Everything is warm, and you fire up the grill for dinner.

In the fall you start flipping through catalogs looking for sweaters, like you did when you were a kid hunting for new school clothes. You pile up the leaves, you bring in the lawn furniture, and you eat pumpkin pie with whipped cream, anticipating holidays and food and family you haven't seen since the last time the earth was in this spot around the sun.

Then in the winter, when you drive up the hill and see your yard covered in pure untrampled snow, and you take aim at the ice sickles hanging from the gutters, and you huddle inside around the fire with a blanket and woolly socks and a warm kitty curled up beside you, you know life is good. You wrap your hands around a bowl full of stew, and you can't help but be grateful for the rotation.

Not enough light outside? Turn on a lamp inside and be happy you have an inside to plug a lamp into. Not enough green and blue and yellow? Learn to like the white and brown, and eat an orange from Florida. Too cold? Knit yourself a warm and fuzzy scarf, and knit a few for your friends while you're at it. The rotation goes on whether you like it or not, so rotate right along with it, tilted just a bit so you don't miss out on a single thing.

Usually, when I'm asked which season is my favorite, I say "fall." But honestly, I'm not sure I could pick because I can find things to appreciate about them all. Today when I look at this picture of deer just outside of town, I feel like winter is pretty nice.

12 comments:

dive said...

Brrr …
You're welcome to the seasons, Robyn. I'd like the first week in May all year round, please.

Dear Prudence said...

Nice picture Robyn. I totally agree with you I don't think I could pick a fav season either. All have their beauty.

dive said...

You have proper winters over there. Ours are furtive grey, slushy affairs conducted in the dark. There's no joy or beauty there whatsoever, which is why I love spring so much.

dive said...

Hey, Robyn!
You're comments wrok again, but they're in a silly little box like Knudsens instead of the lovely full page you used to have.
What gives, Blogger?

Robyn said...

Dive, I experimented with the popup window. Here's the big screen back good as new. The other day Peahen said she couldn't believe our winter was as ugly as I had described, and then I found the deer shot in our newspaper. so, I'm back to enjoying winter. It can get pretty ugly here, too, especially when a few drugs plow through some pretty white snow and make it dirty and sludgy. I'm trying to focus on the positive.

Dear Prudence, they do have their own source of beauty and cultural joy. I wish I had taken this picture. Deer pass through my yard almost every day, judging by the tracks they've left in the snow, but I never get to see them.

dive said...

Ah. That's better.
Thank you, Robyn.

Robyn said...

Oh my gosh, there must have been a misfiring in my brain--I meant to type TRUCKS, but somehow DRUGS came out instead. Drugs don't plow through snow, as far as I know, but I don't really know anything about drugs.

dive said...

Truckers on drugs perhaps, Robyn.

RICH said...

Good post Robyn, there is something pretty darn good about all the seasons isn't there? I think I look better in my Winter clothes by far. ;)

Gina said...

We just don't have seasons, really here. I don't know any other way of life, though.

Gaijin Girl said...

Robyn, you're one of the most talented writers I've read in a long time. This piece was so moving, so I'm sorry I'm commenting on it so late.
You can set a scene so evocatively and I was almost curled up by the fire knitting a scarf myself just reading it. Just beautiful.

Robyn said...

Gaijin Girl, thank you, thank you, thank you. That is so nice of you! I do love to write--thus, the writing contest that I am shamelessly promoting. Somebody brought my score down with a vote just now--oh well, I hope they voted their conscience at least.