Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Du Pre and a Bend Afternoon

I just had one of those magic moments. The sun, low in the sky to the west, found the gap between the clouds and the Cascades and flirted* with Bend. For a few minutes, mellow red and yellow brass tones of sunlight warmed the sides of the junipers and the indigo clouds in the southern sky.

Jacqueline Du Pre's recording of Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 2 in D provides the soundtrack for this moment. She wantonly displays more emotion than he, Hr. F. Haydn, may have felt comfortable with.

It works, beautifully.

I'm noticing that as the days lengthen, I feel a lightening in my heart. For me, the two months surrounding the solstice are the hard ones. Though I may have a touch of SAD, I really think I am reacting normally. The plants and animals here seem to feel the same way I do. During the darkest period, the seasonal plants looked shattered and the animals, deeply concerned. I, also shattered and concerned, carry on.

And now, with the longer hours, robins are foraging in cheerful gangs, the juniper outside our bedroom has just dropped a bunch of blushed-blue berries, and the energetic Mrs Elliott says she also feels a change a-comin'.

So what I'm noticing is that Bend's winters push me deeply enough into the dark that I long for summer's heat, while Bend's summers push me far enough into the heat that I long for winter.

I like that. Thems is honest seasons.

* This far from the equator (a land where there are no seasons) the sun is no cocktease. The sun is promising heat. A lot of heat. There will be heat.


  1. "And now, with the longer hours, robins are foraging in cheerful gangs"

    We have robins year-round in Bend, but they're not the same robins. In summer we have robins who fly up here from California. In winter we have robins who fly down here from Canada. So seeing robins here in February is not a sign of spring.

    Sorry about that.

  2. Nice try, Cap'n Buzzkill. But I said nothing about spring. Only that the days are growing longer and that I feel a matching response inside myself. I don't care whether these birds are the same damn birds as the summer birds, who keeps track of individual birds? They's birds out and about doing vigorous bird stuff, and that's good enough for me. I'm easy that way.

  3. Oh, excYOOOOOOoooose me, Jack, I didn't mean to kill your buzz. I just figured you were making the common Bend newbie mistake of seeing robins in February and getting all a-quiver because you thought spring was just around the corner, and I was trying to inoculate you against a nasty disappointment when you discover the corner is four and a half months away.

    So sorry.

  4. No, no -- entirely my fault. I responded harshly to your implication that I am too simple to know when winter ends around here. That said, I do come from a foreign country and the mores, habits, and environs in this land still hold surprises for me.


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