4 October 2018

The Autumn Winds, Came Blowing In

by Andrew

The weather's warmed again, & it's forecasted to remain for at least a few more days. After a very cool previous about week-&-a-half, some heat feels nice. The air is more fragrant again, more sweet. Though cold air has its own smell too—though I can't quite describe it.

And, I was all wrong about Arcturus rising & the equinox. Or, only somewhat wrong, anyway, because I'll continue to believe it & say, like the ancients, that Autumn doesn't begin till Arcturus rises with the sun. Which is what I was wrong about, when it does, I was looking at the wrong charts. I'd said that that day is 12 October, but it's actually the 8th, instead.

Plus, the predominant winds are still the Summer ones, I've noticed, from the South &—the opposite, opposing always—North. Autumn's winds are from the NW &—the opposite, opposing—SE. So, we'll see on the 8th & after if I notice a change. It's only a few days away. And, with such a big change as seasonal winds, I'd expect storms, I'm only hypothesizing. Burton says it somewhere, I've not stumbled on again but remember from before, that besides the daily sun set & sun rise, the change of seasons are the most violent times of nature. And indeed, though the warmer temperature predicted,—which does, however, gradually decrease, here, as the days pass—there's rain & storms in the forecast as well. When not much happened round the equinox, if I remember correctly, I'll have to check my journals round the date & see, besides the temperature had cooled dramatically.

And then, 44 days after Arcturus rises,—about 21 November—the Pleiades set with the sun rise, which signals the beginning of Winter, & another change of winds, to the predominant NE &—as always, the opposite, opposing—SW. I'll have to make note to watch for storms round then, too. Which is interesting, the Winter winds. Because, though the Summer winds are predominantly from the South & the North, during the dog-days-of-Summer, the about 30 or so warmest days of the year, marked by Sirius rising with the sun, those winds are from the NE & SW, too. Then they switch back to the Summer winds. Well, Winter has something like this too, like a disturbance at its center. Pliny says nothing of the winds here, but 6 days before the Winter solstice,—the shortest day of the year, where the sun rises at its most SE position & sets at its most SW—& 6 days afterwards, the seas are supposedly calm,—safe for traveling—which in Winter, they're normally especially not. Which time is called the Halycyons. Which maybe explains those very favorite verses of mine from Hamlet:

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Savior's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is that time.
(I. i. 173-179)

What sorcery is this! Well, none at all, really. About these charts I'd mentioned, now. It's a website. It lists the times of rising & setting of some of the big bodies by date & location. Since modernity has obstructed our natural viewing of these things, otherwise, by its buildings & light pollution.

Anyway, because the weather had warmed a bit, I walked to go get some ice-cream, it's so delicious, while I could. Because I doubt I'll go much when it's cold. Because I must walk, afterall, & cold ice-cream is not so nice in cold weather.

I left a bit after the sun had set, which is like just after 19:00, now. Which was fast. I swear it seems it was just setting round 20:00.

It'd been about 2 weeks since I last went. Though, I didn't discover that till I returned home & checked the journals. I couldn't re-call. I felt like a completely different person, completely alien, such an unfamiliar task, walking to this ice-cream shop. Though I knew I had done so fairly recently, even. But everything had changed since then, it felt, ages ago. I was amazed when I saw it'd only been just a day or 2 over 2 weeks.

And I saw old Arcturus up there in the Western sky about to set. To which the handle of the Big Dipper points, the 3rd brightest star in the sky, an orange sparkle to it. Kind of cool, that while waiting for it to rise in the morning to finally signal Autumn, you can still see it in the opposite evening sky, it comes back round.

I was musing about walking, in general, while walking. Because the sun had set earlier, & so I'd left the apartment earlier than before to begin my journey, there were more cars out zooming-round, still, they were everywhere. How annoying it is, they're like mosquitoes. And I hate walking on sidewalks because I always feel guilty when I cross the street to the other side, the other sidewalk, when I see a person approaching up ahead with their mutts. I don't even mess with dogs, I've been attacked too many times by them, even as their owners held them on their leash. I will punch & stomp a head if I must. And so, to avoid that conflict, I like to just walk in the street. And I did. But damn, was it a work-out, dodging all these damn cars. They are there, at every corner you turn, every intersection you cross, every drive-way & alley-way you pass, ready to run you down.

You must expect them to be any place they can, these damn cars, any space they can fill, eventhough you might not immediately see them round. Like use intuition, your powers of prediction. The most inconvenient, obscure spot for a car to zoom-by, expect that it will, because more-often-than-not it does. And try not to lose your temper, have patience, remain calm. How walking round town is actually an excellent practice for meditation, in spite of all these damn cars.

I don't even see people inside them anymore, driving these cars. It's just cars. Machines. And they will run me right over if I'm in the way, not paying attention. They are the enemy. So I always have some fresh words to shout at them, & a fresh gob of spit. My defiance till the end. But my meditation, practicing patience instead of giving rise to this passion, this anger, it's transforming me into something different, increasing my powers, even, like I can jump 10 meters in the air, if needed, or simply, with the flick of a finger, crush these puny cars myself, if I'll let them inspire me to anger—because I've been working so much on quieting it.

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