Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Raise a Glass to Turnings of the Season

[ATTENTION: This post has almost nothing at all to do with writing. I know. It's weird. I sometimes forget I have ordinary human things in my life, too. But hang in there, and don't judge me too fiercely. I'll go back to being strictly writerly in my next post.]

Oklahoma doesn't get blizzards. Ever.

Except lately.


The last week and a half have felt remarkably like living in the Arctic tundra, or in Narnia, or maybe on a wintry frontier. We had eighteen inches of snow with the first bout last Monday, then an additional four or five inches a few days later, and then today, about four more. This would not be a big deal if we were (like so many other places who had blizzards) a city who knew what to do with snow, but as it happens, Oklahoma is decidedly unprepared for any accumulation beyond two inches. The consequence? Most everyone I know has spent the last eight days caved up in their houses like bears, or hiking cross-country in full Eskimo gear, desperate for some social contact--or just bread and milk.

I've spent the larger part of those eight days working on my WIP (50,000 words! There's an allusion to writing, guys!) or exploring the frontier with my canine friend Ophelia, who turns into an arctic wolf in the snow. Here's proof:


Even if you hate cold weather with all the molecules of your being (like me), it's hard to resist a dog who has this much fun outside. But I'll be one glad little sparrow when Spring arrives.

And speaking of Spring...

I went to see the Decemberists play in Kansas City on Monday. It was unequivocally brilliant (of course), and their new album, The King is Dead--rather more subtle than some of their others--comes at an appropriate time, as one of its primary themes is the changing of the seasons. The first song on the album makes me itch for spring so badly I am tempted to march out into the waist-deep snow on my balcony and start planting petunias.

The lyrics are as follows:

Here we come to a turning of the season
Witness to the arc towards the sun
A neighbor's blessed burden within reason
Becomes a burden borne of all and one

And nobody, nobody knows
Let the yolk fall from our shoulders
Don't carry it all, don't carry it all
We are all our hands and holders
Beneath this bold and brilliant sun
And this I swear to all


A monument to build beneath the arbors
Upon a plinth that towers t'wards the trees
Let every vessel pitching hard to starboard
Lay its head on summer's freckled knees*

And nobody, nobody knows
Let the yolk fall from our shoulders
Don't carry it all, don't carry it all
We are all our hands and holders
Beneath this bold and brilliant sun
And this I swear to all


A there a wreath of trillium and ivy
Laid upon the body of a boy
Lazy will the loam come from its hiding
And return this quiet searcher to the soil

So raise a glass to turnings of the season
And watch it as it arcs towards the sun
And you must bear your neighbor's burden within reason
And your labors will be born when all is done

And nobody, nobody knows
Let the yolk fall from our shoulders
Don't carry it all, don't carry it all
We are all our hands and holders
Beneath this bold and brilliant sun
And this I swear to all


(*My favorite couplet)


Here you can listen:


I'm going to go ahead and raise my glass to a turning of the seasons. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to move out into the sun again, and watch the world grow. Here's to spring... and to leaves on the trees and blossoms on the Jane Magnolias.

Bonus feature: Here's a video I snagged at the concert. If you're a Decemberists fan, you'll like it. I promise.

video

3 comments:

  1. Those pictures are gorgeous. One day I'm coming to Oklahoma to steal your adorable dog.

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  2. What an adorable dog!!! I'll let Amie have him though, lol.

    That being said I was just thinking how gorgeous it was today here in Houston. Snow is not something I like anymore, after leaving Iowa I feel that I've gotten my fill.

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  3. Thanks, guys. She'll be glad to hear you think she's adorable.

    But you might change your mind once you meet her.

    Jen, I'm with you. I feel like I've had quite enough of snow. But hey! Spring is almost here!

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