It’s dark. I know this happens every year. Intellectually, I am good with the decreasing daylight. I welcome the idea of more time to stew in the starlight, less time of constant chop chop chop in the sun. I welcome the idea… but I’m a bit more conflicted on the practical application. Especially when rain is included in the atmospheric light effects. And in any case, the constant chop chop chop does not go away with the encroaching darkness. There is just less daylight left in which to accomplish it.
I close the shop at 6pm each day. This means I get home at about 6:20, depending on the slowness of the point-of-sale daily sales posting process. (I’ve sat staring at that immobile progress bar for over an hour. More than once. Hate that bar. Hate it…) Today, 6 October, my home will see one half hour less daylight than at the true equinox on September 25th. In my part of the world, sunset is 6:21pm today, and pushing ever closer to 6pm every day. So this week I will get home after dark. And the dark is doubled by a streak of rainy weather which has so completely blocked the sunlight that it’s necessary to turn on the lights even in the middle of the day.
But I still have all this gardening to do. And turning on the indoor lights is not very illuminating out in the herb bed. (Is that more garlic mustard or the lemon balm I just planted? I don’t know!) So I am fumbling along, trying to get all the work done in blindness. Damp and chilly blindness at that. Though, unfortunately, it is not cold enough to kill the weeds or the clouds of mosquitoes that come out in the twilight. Darkness is sometimes comforting, but right now it feels more like an obstacle to be overcome. I find myself cheering on the first frost so I can finally dial back the outdoor labor. But there’s climate change, you know… we get summer until Midwinter these days. Yet there’s not enough light to actually grow veg throughout the year. Our first day of less than the minimum 10 hours of daylight is fast approaching. And I’m not sure it will kill the garlic mustard. Definitely not the mosquitoes.
October 6th is also the Dark Moon. This day sees the last of the Harvest Moon. This is an awkward year. I have dropped the Nutting Moon to make way for the Harvest. But this means that if I put the Falling Leaves Moon next in its rightful place (new between 15 September and 13 October), then I miss out on the Hunter’s Moon. So, being my calendar, I’m going to fudge. Tomorrow will begin the 13th moon, the Hunter’s Moon, in the season of Samhain. Which, of course, is the best time of the year.
But… there’s that damned garlic mustard encroaching on the thyme and sage… among many other tasks still undone in this long-tailing growing season… So, getting my mind into gear for the new season is going to take a few more days, I think. Or, rather, nights. Because this is the time of darkness, after all.
for 6 October 2021
You can respond in the comments below or make a Twitter post to the Wednesday Word. Either way, begin your response with #darkness. Your response can be anything made from words. I love poetry, but anything can be poetic and you needn’t even be limited to poetics. An observation, a story, a thought. Might even be an image — however, I am not a visual person, so it has to work harder to convey meaning. In the spirit of word prompts, it’s best if you use the word; but I’m not even a stickler about that. Especially if you can convey the meaning without ever touching the word.
If responding in Twitter, you are limited to the forms of Twitter. I would prefer that there be no threads because that is difficult. So if you have something long, post it in the comments below. That said, please don’t go too long. Keep it under 2000 words. I’m not going to count, but I’m also not promising to read a novel. Unless it’s really good!
If I receive something particularly impressive, I’ll post it next week. If not, well, that’s fine too. I know you all are busy. But if you’ve read this far, then I’ve made you think about… darkness.
it begins in winter-dark with buried genesis it begins in cold-quiet with birth under ice a sun borne of ancient oak mother maple mantling the meadows a star from whirling death all in darkness all in darkness transformation bears this bleak burden bright pain and black solitude dissolution and decay ruling renascence for this tenebrous naught engenders all that is a seed in soil holds captive life a waning moon heralds spring tides from darkness this germination to darkness all creation in darkness it begins and there is no end
©Elizabeth Anker 2021