Thursday, September 24, 2015

Awesome is the word!

It is a brand new season according to the sun, which will now begin to slowly fade away from these northern latitudes.

Decades ago,  when I was in elementary school, I knew about the four seasons only because the textbook described it so.  After all, back then, the seasons I knew were summer--when it was extremely hot--rainy season, and then the rest.  Autumn? Winter? We learnt that Himalayas meant the abode of snow; but, I had no idea what snow felt like.  Leaves changed colors only when they were dead.  Such was life in the near-equatorial conditions.

Now, my daily life is in sync with the changing seasons.  The sun's apparent movements between the tropics determine my work and my downtime.  Summer means being furloughed from work,, and it is months of doing nothing, as the posts over the three months have shown ;)  Well, according to my neighbors, I don't work any season!  The fall term at school begins after the autumnal equinox; the winter term begins after the shortest day of the year; and the spring term begins as the sun begins to spend time in the northern hemisphere.  Thus, I am like the farmers in the old days whose lives were determined by the seasons.

It was a sunny, pleasant day, today as I stepped out for the walk by the river.  "Can't complain on a day like this" I told the neighbor who was out doing yard work.  The kind of work that I have no clue about.

"The only hassle is that in the morning it is cold, and you have to wear long-sleeves.  Then as the day progresses you have to start taking layers off because it is warm" he said.

"Yep, that is our biggest hassle now.  Which means we really have nothing to complain about" I said.

I laughed. We all laughed. On days like this, it is difficult to be morose and maudlin.

"I am off for the only physical activity that I engage in" I said as I kept walking.

Walking is an exercise.  It is also time for contemplation.  To think about things.  Sometimes to even forget what I have been thinking about--a blissful nothingness that arises from thinking.

I was in that state of nothingness when I was awakened by a woman on a bicycle who said "what a beautiful day" as she passed me.

"Oh, an awesome day" I responded.

She turned her head towards me, slowed down just a tad, and said, "you are right.  It is awesome!"

Awesome is such an American word.  I smiled at the thought.

I was back to my blissful nothingness.


Anne in Salem said...

"A blissful nothingness that arises from thinking." Is that the philosopher's version of a runner's high?

There is a religious interpretation to the movements of the sun causing seasons. John the Baptist's birthday is celebrated 24 June, Christ's is 25 December. John the Baptist heralds Jesus's coming, admonishing us to prepare the way. After his birthday, days get shorter and darker as we await the birth of Jesus. Once Christ, the light of the world, is born, the days become longer and lighter.

Yes, an awesome day.

Sriram Khé said...

Well ... Jesus' birthday of Dec 25th was set in order to co-opt, so to speak, the celebrations that the "pagans" had around solstice and the festival and rituals that Mithraism had in Rome. Societies in the northern latitudes had always marked the winter solstice because they knew that the days would only get longer from then on. As the modern day pagans like to say, they celebrate the return of the "sun" and not the return of the "son."

Ramesh said...

"Tempted to say awesome post, but I won't, lest it be implied that I am a citizen of that strange land :)"

I said that then, and I say it now :)

Yes, it took us a long time to figure out what spring, autumn and winter meant !

Sriram Khé said...

Hey, I suppose it is better to grow up knowing only summer; imagine growing up knowing nothing but winter all the time ;)

BTW, you can say it with me. Try it: aaaa-sum. aaaa-sum. aaaa-sum. Awesome. ;)

Shachi said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwww-some post :)!

Sriram Khé said...

Glad you liked it, Shachi ... Thanks

See, Ramesh, it is not difficult to say "awesome" ;)

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