I hope you are enjoying these days of unseasonably mild weather!
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, these are the halcyon days, a brief spell of mild, calm weather around the winter solstice.
The story can be found in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, but this is how the Almanac tells it–
According to ancient legend, a grieving wife named Halcyon threw herself into the sea upon discovering the drowned body of her beloved husband, Ceyx. The gods took pity on the pair, transforming them into halcyons, a type of kingfisher bird, with the power to still the stormy seas for 14 days near the time of the winter solstice while they hatched their young. (The birds nest by the seas, so calm winds would protect the eggs during this nesting period.) The Halycon Days usually end by early January.
A more familiar association of halcyon days is of a kind of golden age, an idyllic time of peace, harmony and tranquility.
The daily headlines remind us these are not those halcyon days.
Meanwhile, millions are still without electricity in Puerto Rico. Wildfires are raging in California. Volcanoes are erupting in Iceland and Indonesia. Arctic ice is disappearing and glaciers are breaking off in Antarctica. Climate change is real.
And now, the CDC is banned from using the following words–
So, we will continue to resist. Use these words! Use them with courage and humor! Say them loud without fear. Maybe we’ll see them on T-shirts. Yes, I would want one.
It seems going about one’s life in the face of imminent disaster has become a popular meme for 2017. Recall the image of the man busy mowing his lawn, while a tornado is looming in the distance. May you, too, carry on in these turbulent times….