Cold water throws us into briskness and clarity. Plus, it's fun. The writing here is about finding flavor in nature, foraging, jumping into surprising arenas. Living brightly but slowly. Feeling cold water in dark weather, living in hills and dales, among leaves and trunks, with each plant and fruit and berry, each marrow and mallow.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Apple-picking days alternating with dark
Photo by VIUDeepBay on Flickr Creative Commons license.
Days in fall in Seattle are like an Appaloosa horse’s hide: They can be light -- but often they occur in great muddy dapples that obscure the bright, making their own pattern.
That's putting a pretty reading on it, though. What often happens is that I wake either thrilled by sunlight or lulled by gray. And sometimes the gray just makes a day in which it’s hard to be alert or even to have bright and clear eyes.
Probably that’s why I like cold water: It jolts me. I rise from the waters bright-featured, clear-headed. Sunlight in a gray place does that, too.
When in southern California, I’ve often thought that sunlight was excessive. All Pacific Coast weather is moody in its way, utterly different from the East Coast weather -- which follows its course through various seasons. Colors in the East are often vivid and primary.
That said, winter in the Northeast isn’t really a primary color -– it can be midnight dark, or display the furrowed clouds of expected snow. But it’s very often sunny, bright days.
I think that’s it: I like the bright, earned days of apple-picking time. I like them sharp as a Honey Crisp apple, with the same tang.
We have had some of those days in Seattle lately. Like the Appaloosa’s hide, they are variegated. Several dark, slogging days in a row precede the bright jewels that seem to last long.
I am glad for the variety, so far.
It may be time to swim again. If last year I swam on January 1 – which I did -– it can be done again. We will see. It’s always time to push off into the challenge.