Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Seasonal Minimums

For a bit more than three weeks, we've been adding a few more seconds of sunlight to each winter day. Those seconds don't translate into perceptible warmth for us though I'm sure somewhere in the physics of the great Earth Engine, a tiny needle on an invisible gauge has registered an uptick. For those trembling in the ten-day cold penetrating life in east metro Atlanta, that uptick has real meaning for this is the climatological rock bottom for winter in these parts. Both historically and statistically, the only way for the thermometer is "up" until the dog days of summer mark the opposite of the heat cycle.

These brilliant, cold, blue-sky days are best reserved for perusing seed catalogs and cultivating imaginary gardens. I do these tasks best sitting in my Florida room in an overstuffed rocker. There, tired eyes may lift from the page or be distracted by peripheral movements to focus on the sun-drenched woods beyond the patio. In a matter of weeks, I'll be out there prepping for the growing season and, with some luck and reliable climatology, soon watching those gardens in my mind bloom into reality. I've heard some say that I should be more productive these days, if not all days. That may be true, but to be productive you sometimes have to stop producing and quiet yourself. And quieting oneself is not as easy as you might expect. In quietness, you occupy a netherworld between consciousness and unconsciousness. Like the seeds I hold in my hand, it contains great potential. With proper temperatures, water and nutrition, the productivity will follow. Though I look forward with enthusiasm to the warmth and the garden, the seconds will pass in their own time. Time doesn't care, and why protest this a priori dimension, a mystery from the deep beyond. No worry here. Warmth in due time, yes, but for now, these coming days are the quiet.

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