Woman in an Orchard, Spring Sunshine in a Field, Eragny
Camille Pissarro, 1887
Isn't this a lovely painting? It feels like spring. In just 18 days, at 5:30 a.m., the sun will swing around the Tropic of Capricorn, and will return to the northern hemisphere, bringing its warmth and light. I can hardly wait. In Ancient Rome the winter solstice festival of Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. It was held to honour Saturn, the father of the gods, and traditionally, everything was reversed. Businesses, schools and courts were closed, and grudges and quarrels were forgotten. Slaves were served by their masters, and wars were put on hold. Wouldn't it be lovely if everything could stay that way?
I can hardly wait for the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer to return. This particular fall season seems to have brought out the craziness in everyone ~~ the Occupy movement, the politically correct police, the silliness of the American presidential candidacies, concerns about the Enbridge pipeline in British Columbia. It has felt rather claustophobic, to say the least. Folks all seem to be so serious, and so angry. I have been trying to spend time away from my computer, just to avoid reading about all the nonsense.
The Occupy movement has been particularly annoying. I don't think anyone disagrees with their platform ~~ whatever that is. Most people are concerned about unemployment, poverty, the environment, and more. But the Occupy movement shot themselves in the foot the instant they gathered. It was as if they said, "Okay, let's organize, and then figure out a way to really irritate the folks we're trying to reach. Oh, I know, we'll set up shantytowns in the middle of every city, we'll smoke lots of weed, play bongo drums, urinate and defecate in parks, and generally act like blithering idiots. Everyone will listen to our message if we do that, and everyone will be on our side."
There's something about the shorter days and the lessening of the light that seems to bring out the seriousness in folks. Bring back the light, bring back the sunshine. Bring back summer!