Rule of the Jungle Ashcan 1: Solstice
The following is a brainstorming experiment for a potential new project I’m considering that I’ve tentatively decided to call “Rule of the Jungle”. This is not the “Surprise Book” that will become my main blogging project here this coming spring, but it could potentially run alongside it depending on whether certain factors come into play for me. Since this essay may or may not go into the final book, which may or may not actually happen, that’s why I’m calling it an “ashcan preview” of sorts. Or maybe it’s a “vertical slice” of themes and concepts I might be interested in playing with in the finished product. It was inspired by things I always think about at this time of year and interests I’ve always had and I’ve got a rough path to an outline at least, so we’ll see where this goes.
Everything nature does is a circle. The heavens dance around themselves.
The stars and their planets are round, and we visualize their circular orbits and rotations as the passage of time. Seasons change, and the sun rises and sets. Even life and death are part of this same great circle: We are born from other realms, incarnate in these forms, live out our mortal lives in communion with one another and return from whence we came. Even in the lands where the seasons do not appear to change as dramatically, a circle may still be drawn: Power comes from the four directions, and a compass is round. And life and death remain.
I am a child of the summer. Not literally, as this embodied form of mine was first physically born in December, which, fittingly for a Northerner whose birthright is the mountains and hinterlands, is close to midwinter in the Northern Hemisphere. But it is my favourite season; the season whose power I feel the strongest and that resonates with me the best. I do love the winter and have learned to appreciate its stark beauty, but I am ill-prepared to deal with its particular extremes and the dwindling warmth and sunlight brought upon by autumn takes a severe toll on me. But seasons only change from the perspective of a single vantage point: Part of nature’s cycle is that, from the viewpoint of the entire world, seasons do not change so much as they appear to move. Not just the animals, but entire energies appear to migrate in tempo with the orbits of the celestial bodies. From where I sit writing this it is the depths of cold and dark winter, but elsewhere it is summertime.
But only temporarily. For as the solstice approaches the seasons are about to move once more, with the North beginning to depart the dark half of the year, while the South begins to enter it. Perhaps that’s why, at this time of year, my thoughts turn back to the summer warmth and the lands where the sun shines always.
All of this is a long-winded and self-indulgent way of leading into the fact that I tend to associate the winter holiday season with tropical imagery just as much as I do the snow-covered evergreen trees outside my window.…