A while back I was complaining (me, complaining?) about the weather and the lousy fall we've had this year.
Well, it's still fall, although just the tail end of it. Most of the leaves are gone, and the rest have turned a sort of brownish-rust. But that seemingly endless string of rainy days has finally ended.
I try to walk every day, usually at an oceanside park near my house. Even during the three-week run of rain and gloom, I walked there regularly, except for the days when it was actively pouring. I'd see a few other stalwart souls and their dogs--the Labs rather happy, the smallish dogs in a snit at having to be out in such nasty weather. We'd often exchange comments about the weather, the weather, the weather (myself and the dog owners, that is).
Even the ordinarily lovely park appeared monochrome. The usual kites were nowhere to be seen. The gray sky matched its twin, the gray sea, and everything else looked muted and featureless. It wouldn't have been so bad if it had just been a gray and rainy day here and there, but this spell lasted so long that I think we nearly forgot what things would look like were the sun to shine again.
The day the sun came out, I noticed the colors first of all. The landscape didn't even look familiar. Same walk, same scene--but now, the brilliant blue sky was reflected in the sharply blue ocean with its white waves standing out in contrast, almost glowing in the late-afternoon light. The slanted sun made the grass, still green, look nearly phosphorescent.
It's still that way, fortunately--so we get a little bit of fall, after all. The whole thing is a lesson in the transforming power of the sun.
Out of curiosity, I just did a Google search for poems about the sun, and this one by John Donne came up. I'd never read it before, and it's really not all that apropos to this post, since it's more about love than it is about the sun. But I still think it very fine, so here it is:
THE SUN RISING
Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late schoolboys, and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices,
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
Thy beams, so reverend and strong
Why shouldst thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long:
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and tomorrow late, tell me
Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear: "All here in one bed lay."
She is all states, and all princes I,
Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compar'd to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, sun, art half as happy 's we,
In that the world's contracted thus;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls, thy sphere.