The purpose of spring is to feel the sun again. Summer is the time to live it up. Autumn is for contemplation. Winter is when we get to be our real selves.
This year, we had our first snowfall in November. An unheard of early snow in the mid-Atlantic area. It usually doesn’t snow here until January. Is NASA right, that things are getting colder?
Ron Turner a Senior Science Advisor to NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program, said at the time that this solar cycle was “among the weakest on record,” noting that in the 23 solar cycles since recording began in 1755, there were very few solar maxima weaker than that recorded in 2014. As a consequence, scientists are predicting one of the coldest periods ever recorded for our upper atmosphere – and that means cooler temperatures down here, too.
Ice people feel most alive on the edge of birch woodland, with the distant caw of migrating birds under a heavy sky.
Peak-experience moment, twenty years ago: it was a chilly afternoon, I took the MBTA Green Line to do some research at the Boston University library. See it below. Spent a few hours there, then gathered my things to catch the streetcar home. Stepping out of the building, I beheld a spectacle of pure, unexpected joy: it was snowing. Hard. Huge flakes were pounding and there already was significant accumulation on the sidewalk.
And about that snowfall last month. I was driving to work, taking a road through a wooded area and enjoying the year’s first show of the white stuff. And to give another dimension of pleasure to the moment, “Who’s Gonna Drive You Home” by The Cars came on. Its melody gently lets thoughts settle in nonverbal contemplation. Then the song was over.
“Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?” — John Keats
No, it’s not over. The next song kept the spell, starting with its opening notes. It was Guns N’ Roses “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”