"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Last day of summer--equinox thoughts, and a cat

Driving west early this morning to tell son Travis goodbye as he heads to Colorado,  I was nearly blinded by the glare of the golden rising sun in the rear view mirror--almost directly east.
 "Equinox," I thought, the last day of summer, the first of fall." At times like these I can't help but think of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, where the Anaszai precisely marked such times with their stone kiva windows and marker on top of Fajada Butte. 
I've seen time move there, one spring equinox a few years ago. You get a feeling of how small and brief you are, how ancient and vast the world and universe are.
Snoops the watcher
But for today, I had to tilt the mirrors down to keep from being blinded in suburban Oklahoma City. After Trav left, I could tilt the mirrors back up, but had to use the visor to shut out the sun's glare as I head directly east.
When I got home, I picked up the New York Times and my coffee, heading for the back porch. It's quiet there, and cool...the heat and humidity of summer are already gone. Before I went back inside, clouds had moved in, making it even cooler.
Over my shoulder, I found Snoops sitting in the window, watching, waiting, wondering? Snoops, I think, lives only in present tense, compared to we modern humans who are so obsessed with time that we mark the seasons even when they no longer are key to survival. But I know even animals are aware of nature's rhythms, and maybe that's why, deep down, we are too. 
Actually, equinox is not until 9:29 p.m. tomorrow, when fall officially arrives. So this is the last full day of summer. Tomorrow the sun will "rise" and "set' precisely aligned with the center stripes of those roads I traveled today. 
Equinox sunrise on Fajada Butte, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

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