Dark Energy

67  bar rises 30.17  0mph NNE dew-point 58  sunrises 6:15  sunset 8:19

Whole Corn Moon

“We are reformers in spring and summer; in autumn and winter, we stand by the old; reformers in the morning, conservers at night.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the beauties of Emerson is his immersion in the rhythms of the natural world.   Any farmer, any gardener, even any denizen of the farmer’s markets has a visceral sense of the way human activity changes with the seasons, at least in temperate latitudes.  Once the growing season begins, and for a bit before it does, our attention begins to move outside.  At first we watch temperatures, frost dates and the warming of the soil.  Then, we begin to watch for plant emergence, the ephemerals.  Once spring is in full gear with last frost date past, the growing season begins in earnest.  This means we are outside, working.  In this work we express, as Emerson subtly suggests,  our confidence as changers of the world.  We plant corn here and corn grows.  We plant tulips there and color blossoms.

Then, when the all the plants save the ancient firs and pines have begun to die back and the vegetables have given their harvest, we turn back toward the inside, reading and crafts and puttering in the workshop perhaps, or focusing on our work for pay.  As the nights grow longer, as they do even now, we light our fires and gather in our modern caves, lights on against the dark.

Still, I part company with Emerson a bit at the end of this quote.  The night, as it grows longer and deeper, heading toward the winter solstice, the heart of mid-winter, encourages creativity.  The metaphor of the day goes from verdant field to fecund womb.  As we slow, pull in our senses and live more in our interior, seeds planted long ago begin to sprout.  The novel we muttered about while weeding the tomatoes begins to demand a place in our lives.  The child we wondered about in the spring begins to insist, pushing us toward family.  The painting influenced by the play of light on brown and withering plants takes on shape and color.

Hecate. Persephone. Jesus in the tomb.  Osiris scattered among the reeds.  The rebel angel in Pandemonium.  The shadow within our own psyche.  All these are night time, dark energy forces.  Their energy often sublimates when the external world draws us; but when winter or melancholy strikes,  they can draft upward, burst out into full awareness and with their explosive power drive us either toward self-destruction or acts of creation.