It is not difficult to sympathize, empathize in fact, with those many cultures of the past whose focus was largely targeted at worshiping the sun. Though the intention and reason behind such obsession may have been quite different than it is today, the fixation remains strikingly similar. From its likely origin in Neolithic conceptualization, onward through ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, and (perhaps most famously/infamously) Aztec mythology, sun (and solar deity) worship was rooted in fear and obedience. This week I noticed something about the sun…it commands that same obsession, but with new roots. The fact that for much of the country this winter has already been nothing short of a calamity, has further emphasized this point. Bewildered commentators have labeled the more devastating storms as, “snowpocalypse” and “cat-ice-trophe.” I think it is safe to say you generally do not coin phrases such as those during mild winters.
However the lows beget new highs. For many this week the world (temporarily) thawed, and with it came an atmosphere of pure excitement and unbridled hope akin to that of a child on Christmas morning (or perhaps a new President on Inauguration Eve). It was as if we had all accepted some inevitability surrounding the fear that this time we were not going to emerge on the warm side of cold. We consigned ourselves to the notion that hey, there was an ice age a couple thousand years ago, so I guess we were due for another sooner or later, right? Facebook status jubilation, water cooler chatter, and morning news ecstasy all had one thing in common this week…we somehow managed to escape the icy clutches of mother nature…one more time! Damn, we sure are an elusive bunch.
I used to think time was the master and commander of the universe…I was wrong. It is the sun, or more broadly, it is the weather. Time may have an unrelenting grip on the second derivative in the grand scheme of things, but even time stands still for the weather. Late for work? Only acceptable in a blizzard. Closing school early? Only understandable for an ice-storm. Stranded on the runway…for how long?? Only time…err, only the weather will tell. We worship the sun and pray for good weather, much in the same way as did our ancestral brethren…but not out of fear that Ra shall otherwise strike us down where we stand, but instead similarly to the family dog whom after fifteen minutes left home alone begins to fear…could this be it?