8 January, 2007 at 1:48 pm (dear diary, new hampshire)

Much has been made of the recent weather in New England. My own circle of correspondents and contacts have been woeful about the lack of skiing and the general lack of season that has pervaded this grey, warm winter. I have responded in a characteristic and contrary way, enjoying the lack of difficulty of movement that snow and ice afford. I do worry about environmental impact — particularly with regard to local organisms. Will plants bloom too early to be pollinated? Will animals lose out on important food resources that are tied to a seasonal cycle? As much as I am enjoying the lack of snow, I do enjoy the New Hampshire niche of plants and animals and landscape, and would be disappointed to have its cast of characters change permanently with the climate alteration.

Still, as it’s snowed twice this season and I’ve gotten in a car accident during one of those days, I’m hesitant to actually endorse a substance that increased the difficulty of ordinary movement.

Today was a another day of rain, which I enjoy because it makes me want to drink tea, and tea is one of my primary sensual pleasures in life. Even consumed daily, a new cup of piping hot tea is a thing in which to regularly luxuriate; each one has its essential and simple now-ness. It demands time and attention. While snowfall provides a sense of the cancellation of sound, muffling and restricting the ability of noise to travel, which creates a curious sense of vast vide, the low percussive white noise of rainfall soothes me immeasurably. And since there’s less after-effect than snow, one’s pleasure doesn’t need to be tempered by the awareness of the eventual chores to follow.

The one downfall of today’s rain is the impenetrable blanket of clouds that ruined one of my standard daily neatnesses (it’s not a miracle or a mitzvah, but it is a minor marvel). When I leave in the mornings, the light is weak, and the sky a pervasive midnight blue, and by the time I arrive at work, the sky is light and the sun has achieved clarity. People who dislike winter hate the getting up in the dark and the driving home in the dark, and it’s quietly pleasurable to get to work earlier than many people (7:05am) and still have the sky have transformed from dark to light between stepping in and out of my car. I have only rarely seen sunrises that were spectacular; most tend to be chill and lacking in any dramatic effect. But — again — the simplicity of the fact that, yea, there is light, brings me cheer.

This post would be best topped off with a photograph of the morning full moon from the middle of last week, hovering high over the horizon and glowing with enough light to make one think it was a pale morning sun. Unfortunately, I wasn’t carrying at the time, and so this post is picture free. But it was lovely. “Irreducably complex”? Not remotely. It was simple. Amusingly, it reinforced something I had been surprised to see portrayed in Berkeley Breathed’s unfortunately repetitive Opus strip:

Opus' proof of the absence of God

Right, enough sentimentalism. I’m off for a wee cuppa.

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