December 25th, 2003

caillebotte_man at his window

Pleasures of Winter

A bit of fog rolled through a while ago, muffling the air and lending the darkness a pearly quality. Now it is merely overcast once again, and the silence that prevails is as palpable as was the cacophony of last night's wind and rain. Its mercurial nature is the thing which pleases me most about winter weather. The changes from day to day, and night to night, can bring such varied moods that one seldom suffers that ennui which endless summer days of heat and blank skies can induce. I suppose there are places where winter weather is almost invariably monotonous, but this is not one of them. To be sure, there are those rare years in which it seems as though the rain will go on forever, but they are the exception. Most often, we can expect a change every few days at least, and the season is almost always punctuated here and there by a few days of bright sun and balmy temperatures. I'm looking forward to the next couple of months. Right now, I'm going to go out and see if another patch of fog might be drifting through. That always puts me in a relaxed mood for my long winter's nap.
caillebotte_the orangerie


So the sun cam out for a while after a bit more rain, and everything was bright and shiny, with the bare trees reflected in the wet pavement. I went to listen to a small stream gurgle for a while, then came back and made tea because it is still very cold despite the sunshine. The sky is now scumbled with gray clouds again, and etched with branches, a few of which are decorated with birds catching the last light. A nephew and his wife came over, causing both cats to hide in my room where they now glare at one another. If I leave, there might be a spat. Maybe I'll take one of them outdoors. All in all, a very eventful Christmas day. Now, macaroni.
caillebotte_man at his window

Moon and Star

The clouds to the west parted for a while this evening, and we got to see the crescent moon and Venus, only a few degrees apart on a horizontal line, and very bright. In December, the waxing crescent lies flat and resembles a boat, and I could easily imagine Venus as a marker light toward which it was riding, the dim sail of earth-shine above the glowing hull bellied round by an astral wind. It skimmed the tops of a row of shimmering pines, and then both ship and star vanished in a high bank of fog. I listened intently, but could hear no sound of waves.