Saturday, December 23, 2006

Season Cycle

Darling don't you ever stop to wonder
About the clouds about the hail and thunder
'Bout the baby and its umbilical
Who's pushing the pedals on the season cycle

The fog broke overnight, which I hope will have provide some relief for those travelers stuck in the "freezing hell" of Heathrow (thanks again, Daily Mixed Metaphor, I mean, Evening Standard). If you want to find out what it's doing as you read this, look downstairs on the right sidebar for the Weather Pixie.

And speaking of cycles, I took the opportunity to have a spin on mine up to Hertford (pronounced like the capital of Connecticut) for coffee on a day that was drippy, wet and cold, but nothing that would keep a determined cyclist indoors. The damp, draining chill that I had come to associate with the fog was still with us.
Just past the fringes of London, it appeared that just a little snow had accumululated overnight. In the countryside, I found myself amazed at how very typically green the English countryside was still, only a day after the winter solstice. Sure, most of the deciduous trees had dropped their leaves, and the very English hedges were thrusting bony bare branches skyward, but the grass in the pasture, the ivy in the ditchbanks, and even plants in the field--I don't know what they were, but they had broad leaves and therefore were not winter wheat--were still that deep, persistent green I've seen nowhere but here. For me it evoked the above-quoted song quoted above by that quirky English band XTC, a song that explained the English pastoralists' understanding of death and regeneration. I'll let NYMary at the delightful blog Powerpop explain more about it here (and, ironically, one of her recent posts as of today quotes from yet another XTC song). It seems strange at this rather holy time for Christians, I suppose, to think of a decidedly anti-theistic song from an album that had as its hit another decidedly anti-theistic song. But on the other hand, the solstice gives us a chance to pause and consider the natural forces that regulate the rhythms of our lives.

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