It comes between summer and winter. It is a time of stiffening winds, dying hopes and chilling glimpses of our (books’) mortality. It is a bitter time, ameliorated only by the promise of fleeting shafts of warm sunlight that we know, from experience, will fall through the clouds onto a lucky few, then vanish. We hope, in our proximity, to take some solace from these dazzling beams. Yet we find, each year, their brilliance serves as much to darken their surroundings as to light and warm the lucky struck. Thus , even as we congratulate those who receive the beams, we curse the gods that send them. Though we do this in muffled tones, lest we anger those same deities and injure our future chances of illumination.
In these dark times, it is easy to forget why we are here, why we have come to this bedeviling climate, where light and heat are meted out in such a miserly and tricksy manner. More and more we focus our attention on the sky, and as we do, we lose sense of our landscape, of our journey, of our purpose.
It is important, fellow travelers, that we remember one important thing: We did not come here for the sunlight. Whatever the purpose that brought us here, it had nothing to do with the sky. When we arrived, we discovered the weather was mostly shitty and unpredictable. And sure, maybe it’s getting worse, especially this time of year. But only by ignoring it can we get on with why we came in the first place.
Look to the task, not to the sky. There’s work to do.