Friday, July 20, 2007

Twelve Moons of the Year. December 01.

Significant sentences from The Twelve Moons of the Year by Hal Borland, a chronology of the New England seasons. December 01.

"The arrival of December means the definite end to autumn. The leaf-rustle of the November wind whisking October's brilliance along the country road is muted as the leaves settle down." p. 330.

"The color, we say, is gone, remembering vivid October and verdant May. The meadow is a sere tan, but that is a tan of a dozen different shades." p. 331.

"December: the spectacular color has passed and we now have the quiet tones of winter around us, the browns, the tans, a narrower range of greens, with only an occasional accent in the lingering winter berries." p. 331.

"December is green with pine and bright with berry and spangled with frost." p. 332.

"...winter's moon with more than fourteen hours of darkness to rule in cold splendor." p. 344.

"Winter is a season of fundamentals." p. 335.

"Behind the vanished complexity of leaf and blossom is the greater complexity of their source. Those stark winter trees are already budded with next April's leaves, the ultimate riddle of complexity, for it is the root of life itself." p. 336.

"In a simpler past, before the individual was so largely lost in norms, averages, and common denominators, we accepted a vast and awesome world and knew that our problems demanded human solutions." p. 336.

"...birds are independence itself." p. 339.

"December sunrise: the night's cold seems to intensify as daylight comes." p. 340.

"But man is abroad...knowing dawn, knowing the wonder of a new day even in December...knowing the wonder of wondering itself." p. 340.

"...snow is still wonderful and mysterious in December. It hasn't become commonplace and worn out its welcome." p. 341.

"We can't create a snowflake...the wonder of the evanescent flakes, so frail they vanish in one warm breath, so substantial they form ice sheets and glaciers." p. 341.

"Each winter we see that ice can be glass-clear, iron-hard, that it can cut and gouge and rend apart even the granite mountains...that it can be snowflakes, feather-soft, incredibly varied...." p. 342.

"Here and there an oak or a beech rustles, with its tatter of withered leaves still clinging; but it is a dead sound, as dead as the rustle of fallen leaves at the roadside." p. 342.

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