The day began as a narrow band of red on the eastern horizon. It grew to a small saucer as though the clouds were pushing down on the light, vainly attempting to extinguish the newborn sun.
Old Sol would not be denied. From the small band in the Southeast, the red saucer grew, expanding eastward and southward, though the upper sky had not taken the violet shimmer it had the day before. The growing light revealed iron gray clouds, with all their weight directed against the rising sun. Yesterday it cut a wider swath. The pale pink of a salmon’s flanks shimmered in a dark stripe below a violet sky. Today the band is narrow but a vibrant red.
The old oak beyond my balcony is decked with balls of green mistletoe, sacred to the ancient druids. The mistletoe on the oak relieves my view of darker branches. Its significance is preserved, along with its sister pagan symbol, the “Christmas Tree,” in our modern mid-winter festivals. We give the nod to its significance in the traditional kiss beneath the mistletoe.
Beyond the oak, the saucer in the east widened to a red band, and the glowing orb peeked above the horizon. The red band of sunrise light was no wider than the sun, but it illuminated the gray clouds that promised snow.
Two weeks prior, we had snow. It was a Thursday, and the snow was forecast to begin that evening. Instead, it started mid-day, and we were iced in for two days. On the first day, I was sitting at my desk reading when I heard a shriek from one of the neighborhood children. I ran outside to see what was wrong, but they were sledding, an activity for which they have few opportunities in this southern climate.
Despite my near sixty years of age, I joined them for a run down the hill on a plastic saucer. This was a particular joy since we never know how soon it will snow again.