December 12th, 2013
I grew up in rural Vermont on a dirt road.. in a part of the world where the changing of seasons is dramatic, and in a part of town where snowfall in the winter, and mud in the spring made a real difference in life. In the dark part of the year (NOW), the sun would be low on the horizon as school let out and at least a couple of times each winter we’d have to carry the groceries the last half mile or so home, because the roads were impassible. The fall, the first semester of school, always felt like a count down to christmas vacation. A strange paradox. Simultaneously depressing in the shortening of the days and the increasing cold, and exciting and beautiful, first in the glory of the fall, and then in the anticipation of snow and the snow days and sledding and skiing that came with it – a long winter vacation – my birthday (a week from yesterday.. I’ll be 40!) – christmas – new year’s eve.
For whatever reason, I always loved this time of year. I relished the darkening of the world, I think mostly because of the things that we’d do to fend it off! A cozy evening by the fireplace can only exist if it is horrible and dark and wet and cold outside. Those short days would bring out a kind of closeness between people that didn’t exist in the warm parts of the year with those long days, when pick up soccer games started at 5 in the afternoon because there were still 4 hours of daylight left.
The birthdays in my family are laid out like a trail of breadcrumbs leading to that darkest time of the year, starting with Zach’s in late late July, my mom’s in September, Mary and Thomas’ in October and November respectively, (thanksgiving tucked in there.. always my favorite), and then my own and Special Ed’s just three days apart on the 18th and 21st of December (Ed’s falling, in fact, ON that shortest day). Then there was christmas, which we DID continue to celebrate with the exchange of gifts until Thomas and Mary were grown and the family was more or less scattered around the globe and rarely all together at that time of year. But growing up, it was something to look forward to!
All this to say that for me the fall, leading into the dark time of the year, was always an exciting build up, mimicking in the inverse the darkening of the days, to that climax that was my birthday/the solstice/christmas (and then, of course, new year’s eve.. that last gasp.. a party for those who weren’t quite ready to stop celebrating.. coincidentally my dad, Bill Sam’s birthday). But after that, it was really over.
In other important news:! I guess it’s time to sell those fast boy swifts!
It strikes me that these things will make a really fabulous holiday gift (for yourself or someone else) and that it would be helpful of me to sell them in time that they might ship in time to make it to you for christmas.
SO. I will work on the sale page for these this afternoon, and I’ll put them on sale sometime tomorrow morning. Watch here and on faceplace for a link to the page.