Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
(Thomas Gray, from Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard)
The Holiday Season has officially begun, and here, in all its glory, is the season’s formal (2015) Colorado debut on Thanksgiving Eve — the view (from my front door) of . . .
. . . The Sky Over the Front Range’s 13,000 ft. Greenhorn Peak.
It’s sad that humans don’t have the soul of Mother Nature. If we did, maybe we could all avoid the nonsensical ‘Holiday’ blather, including all that (alleged) ‘War on Christmas’ gibberish, and maybe even the ‘shop till you drop!’ and ‘spend spend spend!’ urgings with which the mass media firebombs us for close to forty days and forty nights — each and every year — right about this time.
Still, it only took the other night’s singular event — when the sky literally exploded in full color on the eve before Thanksgiving — to remind me of days long gone, even to suggest it might be worth maybe a moment’s peek at old photo files . . . ? In years past, you see, we made it an annual point to spend as many days and nights as possible — especially during the “Holiday Season” — away from the city and every bit as “Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife” as we could manage. Following are a handful of ‘sky’ photos from some of those years, each and all of which offer that hoped-for PROOF that Nature can NEVER be as boring as is human’s recurrent ‘celebratory’ world.
— Sunrise over Arizona’s Superstition Mountains; Nov. 2001 —
— Sonoran Desert Sunrise; Nov. 2002 —
— Four Peaks and the Mazatzals from Phoenix Mtn. Preserve; Nov. 2003 —
— Sonoran Desert Sunrise; Dec. 2005 —
— Sunset, White Tank Mountains, Arizona; Dec. 2006 —
— Gathering storm, Sierra Mojada, Colorado; New Years Day, 2009 —
So that’s how Nature celebrates the Holidays in each of two dramatically different corners of the American West. Might I assume she does much the same everywhere else as well? I’m guessing . . . ummmm . . . yes?🙂
There still (sadly) remains, however, that ‘other’ side of the coin, the human side, the ‘Holiday Season’ side that has, over the centuries, evolved to accommodate huge numbers of zealots who (a) give thanks to their (Christian) God for the blessings that result from their (always bountiful?) harvests, and (b) demand celebration of the birth of their (Christian) God’s (alleged) son. One might think, therefore, that their included ‘Holydays’ would be a time of tolerance, of kindness, of understanding, even a time of love. Instead, what’s come to pass is a month’s worth of commercialism, blended with various levels of accusatory hate- and fear-mongering against ‘outliers’ everywhere. So while some sceptics might find their ‘Holiday Season’ tirades entertaining (see, e.g., ‘Oppression Of America’s Churches’ Reminiscent Of Nazi Germany), I’ve decided to make MY choice be something more like this (once again) view from my front door:
— Greenhorn Peak, December 2008 —
No fear, no hate, no oppression, no Christers, no Nazis, only the Great ‘Out There.’
My OUR world, the one that reminds — always — that
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Meanwhile, Happy Holidays!