As the light starts clicking down

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Daylight’s getting shorter. Here in the north country the thermometer hovers around zero Celsius. The smell of snow is in the air; people telling each other at the till when I went to town the other day to get some groceries.  “Soon,” they say, and everyone knows what they mean.

This morning, just after getting the fire going in the woodstove, I remembered a brief passage Gary Snyder wrote in his tanker notes on December 8, 1957, somewhere out in the Arabian Sea.  Just a quick conversation between ship mates, but it’s stayed with me and helped me out on more than one occasion:

Caruso: It’s a long way to Suez.

Duperont: It ain’t a long way, man, it’s just you got a short mind.

I can’t help but notice the date of this entry, December 8th.  It’s the day Zen folks commemorate the Buddha’s enlightenment and remember the story of him sitting with great determination for many days beneath the bodhi tree until that morning, at dawn, when out of the vastness of the night he looked up, saw the morning star, and realized the oneness of all things.  Why that day?  Why that star? To ask the question is to go a little further into our own vast sky and the knowledge of what we are.

Maybe it’s just a story, the kind people tell at this dark time of year to help each other remember the light.  People like such stories and there are plenty of them the world around. Or, maybe it’s true. It hardly matters, as I see it.  What matters to me is to remember that delicious phrase, “it’s just you got a short mind,” and to do what I can about it.

Happy early winter days, everyone. Let’s try and make it to Suez together, any way we can.

Beyond the lines of these hills

there is another line

no one can see — together

may we get across.

2 thoughts on “As the light starts clicking down

  1. “you got a short mind,” love that, la verdad. The nights here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, are ‘chilly’ but once the Sun comes out, warm. My neighbors across the street have put a sweater on their pooch because to a Mexican this is cold, high 60s at night, 70s in the day…I LOLed upon seeing the sweater. I remember the morning fires in the Sierras in winter, going through cords of wood, the wonderful scent of morning fire, the first snow fall, so silent. Will remember December 8th, Buddha’s enlightenment, the Morning Star (Quetzalcoatl)…the day I land in L.A. Will have a margarita in your honor… tu amiga, Almaluz xoxo

  2. nancy (wood) tuber says:

    Daylight will soon get longer. The fear of the darkness is greater than the actual. Or so it seems in my old age…Peace.

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