It's not as if we got dumped with three or four feet of snow, but there were an awful lot of big flakes flying around in the a.m. hours, and things got a whole lot whiter before it was over. Doesn't look like it's gonna go away, either. Winter is here.
I've been through 30-plus of these seasons, closing in on 40 of 'em, actually. And while I don't make it a habit to bitch about winter too much, I don't like it. I don't own a snowmobile, and I don't ski. The occasional snowball fight can still be fun. But what I do mostly in winter is...wait. For spring. And most recently, I curse the shitty tires that came on the car I got last September. New tires...plenty of tread. Just, horrible in the snow! (a Kumho endorsement, I'll never get.) I've got a buddy that owns a Goodyear dealership, and if I'm going to stay on the roads this winter, I might have to pay him a visit.
There is one good thing about winter, however. Relatively minor on one hand, but amazingly grand in scale if you look at it through the right eyes.
Winter is the season for Orion. Visible in the northern hemisphere from November to April, it's one of the most well-known constellations in the sky. It's been mentioned in literature and pop culture and music, from Homer and Milton and Tennyson and Frost, to Jimmy Buffett and Metallica and Prince and Springsteen and Jethro Tull.
Known as The Hunter, many references have been made to Orion's belt and sword, and other constellations surrounding him make up his two hunting dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor, and his prey, such as Taurus the Bull. According to one story in Greek mythology, Orion was killed by the poisonous sting of the scorpion, Scorpio. The two constellations are positioned so that Orion (fall and winter) and Scorpio (spring and summer) do not appear in the sky together.
I'll never claim to be the biggest astronomy scholar on the planet, and I don't own my own Hubble, but I never...never...miss an opportunity to stare up at the sky in winter and find Orion. I talk to him. And when spring comes, I bid him adieu for another couple seasons.
It would make for a great personal ad, don't you think?
(Lonely, slightly crazy SWM into star-gazing at heavenly bodies, Greek mythology, talking to himself, reading the classics like "Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," shooting good darts and playing bad poker...seeks SF with same interests. Heavenly body preferred, but not required. Scorpios need not apply.)
I can see all the soulmates lining up already.