Thursday, September 23, 2004

Now is the time of year when the first cool hours begin to spread out from midnight and poke their heads around the corners of twilight and dawn. The days become less scorching. A subtle tension, grown used to since its onset in May, is suddenly gone one morning, drained away during the night. The exile indoors (or to the backyard pool) ends, as people begin once more to appear on their front walks. All summer the streets and the patch of park at the neighborhood's edge were deserted; soon they'll be appropriated for soccer practice. The school buses return. In the mail the election pamphlets arrive atop the first waves in a tide of holiday catalogs. Soon it will be time to pulls the blankets out of storage, and the cats will become more friendly at night. The arts season begins now, and the harvest festivals, and the music festivals, and the State Fair, gathering momentum as they hurtle towards the end of December, pulled by a force like gravity into the Solstice.

Mabon - Autumnal Equinox - is certainly a different animal here in the low desert than it is in more northern climes. It always felt a bit off to be doing a ritual from Crystal Well or some such going on about sorrow at the waning of the summer, when I really wanted to jump in the air and shout yippee! Greater Phoenix has its own unique way of marking the Equinox, suffered by every commuter driving an east-west street - the sun straight through the windshield or right in the rearview mirror to and from work! The egineers who laid out our streets would've done the builders of Stonehenge proud!


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