.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Hi, all of you out there who are so unfortunate as to have no firewood to cut! Happy Winter Solstice Day!

This post is an enlargement of a comment that earlier this morning I posted on Andante's Collective Sigh. And in doing so, I'm following the advice of a guy named Badtux, the Snarky Penguin guy, whom I discovered through Rook's recently spiffed-up Rant site. (How's that for saluting three weblogs in one sentence!) Badtux is always interesting, though I don't feel much on the same beam with him, partly because he spends a lot of time mucking about in western deserts on various kinds of wheels -= which doesn't seem appropriate for a penguin to me -- whereas I spend my daylight hours trudging about in eastern woods and on my feet, as penguins very pointedly do, when they're not acting like they're fish or spelling their treks across the ice by toboganning across it on their bellies.

Andante and her commenters were speaking of how all the preparations needed for celebrating Christmas Day had gotten to be too much for them.

In my comment I spoke of how I long ago left all that behind, save for the stuff I had to do when my son was a child, which is now also a long time ago. I reached this decision after some years of exhausting myself hunting for gifts for relatives, when I had no idea whether the gifts were things that they would really want or need, and therefore most certainly weren't, anymore than were the things I received in turn -- and long gone were those once highly exciting but now embarrassing days when I lusted far too much for things that in the long run didn't matter much, like electric trains and chemistry sets.

Now the main day in the year to which I look forward is the Winter's Solstice, which is now upon us. This is because I'm outside so much, and therefore I'm very conscious of the lengths of the days, when I can do things, and of the nights, when I have to stay inside and eventually waste time sleeping so I can get through them.

And anyway, it seems clear that Jesus' birth wasn't really on the 25th, though no one knows what day it really was, and the New Year also seems to be based on his career, which means that in large parts of the world where he isn't worshipped, the counting of the years is based on other, equally uncertain things.

But for me the solstices and the equinoxes are on definitely solid ground, because they are based on planetary laws whose effects can be seen by everyone. For that very reason, however, they are universally taken for granted and almost never observed by most people.

So this, or yesterday, whenever the Big Moment was, is my favorite day of all. I like the daylight too much, and I love the moment when the nights finally stop lengthening at its expense.


Post a Comment

<< Home