Winter: dark, wet, and green

By now, the sun had gotten about as low in the sky as it will get. We will lose a few more minutes of daylight between now and the winter solstice, but it almost won’t be noticeable.

Over the weekend, we got some more rain, not a great deal of it, but enough to make a difference to growing plants. While the hillsides still look brown, there are even more tender green shoots coming up in odd places.

Mass American culture tells us that spring is associated with tender green shoots and lengthening days. But that’s not the way the seasons work here. Right now, our days are short, and at the same time we have tender green shoots coming up. We don’t dash through the snow to get to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving; we dash through rain showers and greenery. The Advent or Yule season is dark, just as it is throughout the northern hemisphere, but it is also wet and green. Mass American culture stems from North Atlantic culture, but parts of it just don’t apply to the Pacific Rim.