“Four Days Left to Recite a Favorite Line from Simon and Garfunkle”

“A winter’s day, in a deep and dark December…..”

It took me a number of years to figure out each of these words.  Finally when they came together in a meaningful sentence, they resonated as a favorite quote for me.  What a vivid painting to the imagination this portrays.  I picture it in a city somewhere; after hours. Someone is alone and feeling nostalgic (not necessarily lonely) but definitely very much alone.

They may pull their coat collar up against the chill of the night and dig their chin down into their chest to face the frigid air.  Or, they may be sitting at their window, staring down into the streets below (as is sung in this sonnet), pondering life in general; thankful for the isolation.

What is more, they could possibly be experiencing a magical wintry moment exactly like mine, years ago, living in Alaska during the pipeline influx when the power company couldn’t keep up with the demand and we were living a forced “off grid” lifestyle in the month of February.  We couldn’t drill our well till the ground thawed in the spring.  We hauled water from various sources.  This led to many interesting experiences.

One evening as my husband and I pulled out of our home in the middle of a thick forest off of Abbot Loop and turned onto the Sterling Highway with empty water containers to be filled, my husband took a sharp right turn that I didn’t even realize was there.  It was so perfectly concealed by the overgrowth alongside the highway.  Instantly, I found our vehicle pointing down a steep, narrow, winding incline that made me sit up straight and frozen in my seat.  It happened so fast, I’m not sure fear of slipping off this makeshift road even had time to hit my brain but my body was reacting.   Within a few minutes, our vehicle stopped at its chosen destination; a fast-flowing stream of water.

My senses jolted to piqued awareness as I beheld the first glimpse of the frost covered trees!  They were stark white with a the thickest layer of white frost I’d ever seen.  This sparkly frost highlighted every single branch and tiniest twig from the light of the full moon shining down on them.  They were glistening as if covered in tiny diamonds, twinkling in the moonlight.

It was a magical moment for me and although it happened many decades ago, it remains etched in my memory.  This event was on a winter’s day, in a deep and dark “December”.

Deep and dark do not necessarily mean gloomy and depressing.  Sometimes they are quiet, reverent and very special.  They may hold a glistening surprise if we are just patient.

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One thought on ““Four Days Left to Recite a Favorite Line from Simon and Garfunkle”

  1. Mary: this is an expertly-written account of an experience both harrowing and beautiful. It amazes and frightens me that such experiences frequently come with juxtaposed extremes. It is as if our very life must be threatened before we can perceive the essence of beauty. In a away, I’m glad these experiences don’t happen every day: they would leave me ragged.

    I recently sang with the Salt Lake Choral Artists a concert of selections from Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass.” I absolutely loved the music. Bernstein was a brilliant composer. Some of the lyrics were a birthday gift to Bernstein from Paul Simon, and perhaps sum up Simon’s assessment of 1965 America:

    “Half of the people are stoned, and the other half are waiting for the next election.”
    “Half of the people are drowned, and the other half are swimming in the wrong direction.”
    “So, baby, where does that leave you?”

    Thanks for you post. Roger

    Liked by 1 person

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