Peak Bleakness


This certainly is the season of peak bleakness here. It’s dark when I get up. Dark before supper. The leaves have all fallen, leaving a forest of standing skeletons. The sun rarely breaks through the clouds these days.

But what about the owls who come out at night? Is this the happiest time of the year for them? So many more hours of hunting for them. At the end of June are they despondent at the long days, wondering if darkness will ever return? Do they have rituals they perform to their gods to bring back the night? Maybe that is what all their hooting is about in the summertime.



All the rain and wet is no problem for the ducks. This is a happy time of the year for them too. Though when it comes to ducks on a pond, when are they not happy? I’ve noticed that ducks are somewhat nocturnal. They must have good night vision. They are often active at night.

In fourteen days, on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 7:59 am Pacific Standard Time, 6:59 am Pacific Day Light Savings Time, right about when I am having my morning coffee, it all changes and the light begins to return.

In ancient times, many wondered if spring would return. People danced, they prayed, they burnt offerings, hoping that the gods would take away the darkness. We don’t worry about those things anymore. We can count down to the millisecond when the earth passes that spot in its orbit around the sun where the days in the northern hemisphere start to lengthen. It will happen no matter what we do, gods or no gods. There is nothing for us to do but relax and enjoy that millisecond.

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