The Black Cherries of Winter

It is the time of year when colour leaves the valley. The red choke cherries of summer are black. The skies are grey.P2140077 The sun we knew in summer is gone. This is the time to go inside the earth, to be with the small grey birds, to become fog, and to grow still.P2140121 In more tropical regions of the earth, this mystery is absent, but here it is the great clarity that is the ripeness of the year: not light but darkness, which is a different light.P2140124 The Icelandic writer Gunnar Gunnarson wrote that the long winter dark of Iceland is part of every Icelander’s soul, as much as the long sunlit nights of summer.P2140127 That’s the way it is in the Okanagan in November, December and January, when cold brings fog out of the lake to cover the valley from the sun and the stars,just as summer’s heat turns the lake into lightning storms that crash overhead through July and August nights, or June storms, raking over the mountains from the Pacific, turn the sky blue and draw us out of ourselves as water. But not now, now it is the time of darkness that the Celts knew well as the source of life, because they, too, lived in the fog seasons of seasonal earth.P2140131 Now is the time the Earth here has for herself, and the time we, who are her sons and daughters, have with her. This is for us, as family.P2140132

This is not a time to go to Mexico. It is no time to run from her embrace.

P2140101

At dusk now, we find ourselves.

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