Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Two Hundred Thirty

Our beautiful late autumn continues, the snow of two weeks ago a distant memory. The sun seems brighter than it has in weeks, the sunrises and sunsets filled with breathtaking colour. My love and I went for a long walk down to the river and across to some neighbourhoods we have not visited in some time. The pathways along the river were filled with people on similar excursions. It was heartening to see.

We had one of our annual fall traditions on the weekend, the cursed time change. I have yet to meet anyone who likes them. It is hard to discern a purpose to it, especially in our northern climes where it shifts our daylight hours from the evening to the early morning when only a few are actually up. By December that will matter little, for we will be down to eight hours of daylight, a standard workday. In fact the hours so closely match the workday that it is hard not to feel cheated. You arrived to work in darkness and left in darkness. I shall be at home this winter, which will pose its own challenges.

Farmers often get blamed for these shifts in time, which is a laughable story whose origins I cannot begin to imagine. Having grown up among farmers and ranchers I know how little heed is paid to the clock. Work is done during daylight hours, regardless of the time ascribed to it, because that is when you can see to do it. There is no schedule to keep, no need to put in hours if there isn’t work to be done, though there is always work to be done.

There are exceptions of course. Cows will birth at any hour they see fit and so must be checked day and night to see if any help is needed. Crops and hay can be too dry to combine or bale during the day so people will go out early in the morning or late at night when there is a bit of dew on them to make it easier.

Today it is fifteen degrees out first thing in the morning, almost unheard of for November. Sunrise was glorious, colouring the clouds in the sky with reds and pinks. Sunset has been as breathtaking, even if it feels like it is far too early. During the day the angle of the sun is low, so that it glares directly in ones eyes when you are about. The clouds are white and vivid in the sky, seeming to stretch on along the horizon as far as these endless plains.

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