The earth, it seems, has begun to turn more slowly in the last few weeks. Have you noticed? Maybe it’s just me. The insects are singing their melancholy song, reminding me of the changing of seasons. The days are a little bit shorter now and the shadows are just a bit longer and the insects are most definitely louder, as if they are calling to the darkness of winter, inviting it in, or maybe, like me, they are mourning the bright light of summer. Either way, I am certain I am not the only one to feel it, that drawing in, the drawing down, the deep and instinctive anticipation of darkness. There is stillness in the air even when the wind blows – can you feel it? I suspect what I feel is that instinctive knowing that we are nearly midway between the summer solstice and the winter.
I am an animal, and my animal body wants to begin storing up in preparation for the darkness, to squirrel away as much light and life as I can, to push away the oncoming withdrawal, a hibernation of sorts. I bought ingredients for soup the other day, a soup it is too hot to make, but that act alone – the buying of soup things – is a sign. The darkness of winter is near and although I dread it, I am mildly curious about what it will bring.
I don’t like the winter. Oh, not the snow, I can tolerate the snow – I will push it away as often as I need to, or go play in it. It is not the snow I dread, it is the darkness, the sense of isolation on cold winter nights when I need to be indoors studying or checking homework, or doing laundry in an apartment I do not like despite all the minor improvements I have made to it. I have this urge to tear up carpeting and remove anything extraneous no matter how small, to buy more lamps and light up every room with a thousand watts, to push away the oncoming smoky darkness in the corners; a darkness, I suspect, that exists only in my mind.
I want to turn my face away from what is to come, this drawing in. I want to burrow under the covers for days, preferably with a lover who will generate heat for me on cold nights, his sleeping, breathing body warming the air around us. But for now, I will sit and listen to the insects and remember that the darkness comes for just a little while and then it goes away again…and that some day, so will I.
September 12, 2011