Saturday, January 30, 2010

Apogee and Perigee and Snow

Last night, I learned, was the perigee moon--the time when the moon's orbit places it closest to earth and so it is bigger to our view. Here's what The Astrology Cafe says about it:

"A perigee Moon simply means that the orbit of the Moon around the Earth is in the shape of an ellipse (kinda like a slightly smashed circle), with one end (its perigee) being shorter in distance than the other end (its apogee).

So, the perigee Moon is at its closest point from the Earth, and it will appear bigger and brighter to us observers here on Earth."

Unfortunately we were cloud-covered and waiting for snow to arrive. It was cold too, about 11 degrees. So we missed this not-so-common astrological sighting. I hope some of you were able to see it.

Today the snow arrived and we have about two inches and counting. We were supposed to get a "dusting." If this is dust, I'd hate to see the weatherman's house. So we'll have an inside day, cleaning and sorting the big bookshelf, a job that sorely needs doing.

Winter of course is only halfway over or maybe not even that. Spring is March 21, which is 7 weeks away. So we might as well enjoy the rest of this season of rest. When Spring comes we will be busy planting, cleaning gardens, getting tools in shape and all the other work of preparing for summer. In summer we will be running hard to keep up with the grass and weeds; we'll be canning and putting food away. When Fall comes we'll be hurrying to get in firewood, putting the gardens to bed and putting up whatever food still needs to be stored. But winter? All we need to do is stay warm, dream by the fire, and shovel snow occasionally. So enjoy the rest! We'll need to be ready to go come spring.

Here's a poem to share with you on this cold snowy day:

Dust of Snow
Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

And another, for those who need a bit of hope at this time of year:

The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Spellchecker thinks Thomas Hardy can't spell :-)


Cathy said...

I was wondering how many inches you had! We have seven! The girls were so unhappy. Their winter formal has been rescheduled again. Maybe the fourth date will be it. The Frost poem is one of my favorites and I enjoyed Hardy. I haven't read any Hardy since college! Stay warm!

Granny Sue said...

I am sorry about the girls' formal--winter is an unpredictable time. It may end up being their Spring formal at this rate :-)

Thomas Hardy is one of myfavorite writers but I've read only a little of his poetry. This particular poem was written on New Year's eve, I believe in 1900, at the turn of the century. Or was it 1899? I'll have to look and see. When a writer's work still has relevance 100+ years later, you know they were good!

Connie said...

Contrary as always, I am doing Spring cleaning now. Of course, being the procrastinator that I am, I figure this is the cleaning I should have done in 1997.

My goal? By the time gardening weather is here, I want nothing on my to-do list that doesn't involve digging in dirt.

So I'm cleaning and painting and cleaning out and organizing and throwing away and washing and drying and and and and. . .

The house smells like bleach, potpouri and salsa. It's a little strange for a cold winter's night.

Granny Sue said...

We're doing the same thing, Connie. Might as well make good use of this down time. We'll be glad come Spring.

Anonymous said...

interesting article. I would love to follow you on twitter.

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