There comes a point in September, when the streets of our towns and backroads are chocked with all manner of vehicle, and slack-jawed rubes the wide-world over want to know where the best place to see aspens are-they're fucking leaves, people!-that I catch myself all but preying for and upon the first of October. See, by then, the only leaves left are defiant scraps of rust and faded saffron. The last of the summer tourists have scuttled back to their homeplaces and lives they seek to escape from by means of vacation, gone until either the snows of winter and spinning lifts or when it is green and warm here once more.
October is when it supposed to slow down up here, but that is not really true. This is when the hunters come; camo drag and money spent out of guilt for family left back home. There are still tourists too; Europeans and cats who know some things might be closed or are getting ready to close for the coming winter, but it is not as crowded. Some of us travel during October.
Well, how about November? Around here, not so much. We host the Sheep Festival, honoring one of the biggest herds of bighorn in the state. The non-profit, which runs my professional obligations, hosts a volunteer party of some to-do that a good portion of the community shows up for at least a cocktail or two. And, of course, Thanksgiving, when we must once more reunite with further-flung family with gluttony and professional sports to properly kick off the drinking season.
December? Ha! I say. The first two weekends of that month up here are the Christmas Market. There is the attendant brain-damage of the holidays, and December houses some fourteen or fifteen of them, aside from Christmas. For someone of a more solitary nature, it can be a bit of a psychic maelstrom.
Then it is full on winter. January and February. Oh, fuck yes.
It is dark. It is cold. At professional obligations, time is suspended in agonizing amber. If one goes out, it is in layers-no bad weather, just the wrong clothes.
However , it is quiet...
This is when I wander the snow and ice sculptured landscape in meditative contemplation, recharging from the rigors of summer and autumn. I watch the winter stars with small smiles. The music I listen to has a more introspective countenance. As January ends, I watch the slow creep of direct sunlight back upon my house, telling me the Long Dark is over and it is now mid-winter.
Here and now, the dawning of direct sunlight is about two weeks away. I anxiously watch the far valley wall, as I do this time of year. At my professional obligations, Senpai complains about the state of things, but, if he didn't, I'd be digging a hole, or, at least contacting the paramedics. I wander, listening to the rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos. It is winter. Here and now, I rejuvenate.