long shadows and southern suns

It’s that funny little tilt of the earth that brings the shadows when our orbit takes us further away from the sun’s radiance. The sun no longer appears in the direct east or west in the morning or the evening. Instead, we gaze at a southern sun whose light casts long shadows all day long. This southern sun twinkles, casting everything with a raw, glittering light.

We watch dry leaves dance and scratch at pavement and sidewalks. Leafless trees shiver in the breeze, their branches rattling like bones. How brave they are to stand so naked in the eyes of the world. We wrap our cloaks around our bodies, twisting scarves about our necks and heads unwilling to expose even an inch of skin.

With the long shadows comes a quick and early darkness. It is our season of outdoor cold and inner warmth. Not much grows during these fast and limited days.

But inside, we are incubating.

There are shadowless days when pregnant grey clouds hover low on our horizons, promising snow and white blankets to dress the soil and further seal the hidden seeds and roots that wait for spring. We want to tuck ourselves inside layers of wool and dress our hands with fancy gloves. Indoors, safe from the icy drifts, we slide our bodies between flannel sheets and listen as the northern wind whispers through attic rafters.

These days are made for slowing down and sowing seeds. The dark was meant to chase us home. Human eyes don’t see well in the night. It is better to close them, to dream, to imagine what the world is growing hidden from our sight.

We seed ourselves with possibilities.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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8 Responses to “long shadows and southern suns”

  1. holessence Says:

    Oh Barbara, what a beautiful word picture you’ve painted. All the while pointing us vividly in the direction of unlimited potential.

    This is the start of my work week, and it’s a great way to start – thank you!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      You are SO welcome, Laurie! And you are right — there is unlimited potential in our dreams and imagination. Just because we haven’t seen “it” happen yet does not mean that it won’t. I am sure people once said that about flying and walking on the moon.

  2. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

    Seed ourselves with possibilities!

    LOVE IT…..

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kim — yeah, I think about intent that way . . . just plant a seed somewhere inside and let it germinate, water it occasionally, keep it warm, and at some point, the possibility of fulfilling that intent springs forward and along with it come all the ways of making it real.

  3. jeffstroud Says:


    Beautiful picture scattered here with your words! I am glad I stopped by to be bath in them, to help open my human eyes to see…

    I love the last lines here in your blog: Human eyes don’t see well in the night. It is better to close them, to dream, to imagine what the world is growing hidden from our sight.

    We seed ourselves with possibilities.

    I am Love, Jeff

  4. sandiwhite Says:

    Loved it! Delightfully shivery, I had to go get a sweater! It’s not here yet but that Old Man Winter is lurking around the corner, just waiting to GETCHA! Really, it was in the 70’s here again, the oaks are still parading their summer green. Of course the flowers all froze this weekend….except for the pansies! Yep, I’m a pansy planting aficionado, I love them. Do you remember that really old cartoon, way before we were born ( ahem) , I believe it was a Merry Melodies, black and white, that showed the wind stripping the leaves from the trees, and Old Man Winter wringing his bony with his long claws, long ratty beard blowing over his shoulder and his wicked teeth? I was seeing that old chap as I read this marvelous description of the Dark Times to come. I am just so totally in denial….

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Oh, golly, I do remember the cartoon! And Merry Melodies! That was definitely before either one of us was born . . .

      You were actually my inspiration for this piece. You were talking about how you sow seeds in the fall to incubate over the winter and we have had a week’s worth of bright sunshine with temperatures between 35 and 60 degrees. It was disarming to see this bright sunlight without feeling any real warmth; and the shadows have always played in my imagination. I must be getting ready to hibernate.

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