Monday, December 21, 2009

Welcome To Winter

At 17:47 GMT today (about quarter to one EDT) the sun reached its southward solstice. Although the days have been short and it has been cold out for quite some time, today is officially the first day of winter. On one hand, it seems as though we are just beginning our descent into the cold and gray, but astronomically speaking, we are already starting to emerge from it.

Like most people who choose to live in the Northeast, I both love and hate this time of year. It's tough to take the shortened days and frigid temperatures that keep outdoor activities to bare minimum. There's not much worse than starting your car in single digit temperatures and waiting for it to warm up, but there are few things I enjoy more than looking outside when I wake up and seeing snow falling under the orange glow of a street light. It's like you're watching the world slow down.

I still remember hardly being able to sleep on nights when there might be a snow day back in elementary school. I could almost sense whether it had snowed or not before I pulled back the curtain to look outside, but that didn't prevent the crushing feeling of gazing upon the naked pavement and brown, frozen grass and knowing that I still had to go into school.

Winter lends itself to a different range of human emotion. I think everyone suffers from some degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder; unless you live someplace where it is warm all year round how can you not? Life is better when the weather is nice and you can be outside. It sucks when you finish work and it's already dark outside. Mowing the lawn beats shoveling the driveway. You'd rather wear sandals than sweaters. A cold beer is better than a hot cocoa.

By the same token, some kinds of music seem more appropriate for the winter. They might be a little slower and more acoustically layered. They might sound sadder and more contemplative. Or maybe they just have words like "Winter" or "Ice" in the title. Anyway, here is a cursory collection of tunes that - for one reason or another - sound like winter to me:


  1. Jay, you're a great blogger but you're neither a meteorologist nor an astonomer. The sun did not reach it's equinox today; today is the winter solstice. The equinoxes occur in September and March, when the sun crosses the equator on it's southward (autumn) or northward (spring) travel.

  2. /fixed...

    I spent too much time picking out the songs and not enough double checking the science.

  3. Nice, but one more correction - solstice - not soulstice - although that could it's own interpretation!