Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Toward That Long, Long Night

The moon hangs low in the sky-a huge golden crescent- as I type this. It is barely visible through the trees, but it is the brightest thing in the sky tonight. The cold is numbing. I'm only up at this hour because I was so cold earlier that I actually went to bed to get warm. It makes me wonder how my ancestors fared in their sod houses when the fire burned low, in that cold, wet part of Ireland so long ago.

Living is a struggle because of the cold. As each year passes, I find myself getting colder more often. I am not fond of the oppressive heat we have here in the South ( particularly living as we do without air conditioning), but I believe the cold is worse. There are nights I have slept fully clothed, even under a pile of throws and blankets, because it was one more layer of warmth against the piercing cold...and this is coming from someone who has cracked a window to let in the crisp air in January when I lived up North. It's a different kind of cold because of the humidity here.

Simply making it through the day, day after day, in this cold is maddening. I have no earthly idea how I am supposed to get anything done when all my energy-such as it is these days- is focused on getting and staying warm. Gods, I am glad that I don't have to go out and collect wood, but on the other hand, there would be a fire, and warmth. Maybe living in the modern world isn't so great after all?

This makes me appreciate the anticipation and excitement of those who have gone before as they awaited the long, long night. It would be the last of the nights that seemed endless. The following days would ever so imperceptibly gain light-and warmth. The light would gain and the earth would begin to send up life through the cold ground. It would call them forth from the dark like a siren's song. They would be just as unable to resist, until finally-finally-there would be something bright green and juicy to absorb the sun's rays.

But now, for a few days, there is the cold and the dark, where the warmth is in-dwelling. The furnace of life resides inside and burns steadily.


  1. Here's hoping the short, cold nights pass quickly for you, and the warmth of spring is here to light your days soon!

  2. Where in NC do you live? (rhetorical, of course...I respect your privacy) I live in WNC near Asheville and it's not really that cold here. Just curious...perhaps I'm a little more cold tolerant. Hope you stay warm and have a great Solstice celebration this week. :)

  3. @ LP- We're in western Raleigh. It's been damp, and the cinder block house is only heated to 10 degrees above whatever it is outside. Most of the time it's colder in the house than it is outside, LOL.


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