On the plus side of life in the country is the bright lights and on the negative side is the intense dark. How is this contradiction possible?
My local town Dungarven has the most remarkable display of Christmas lights. No matter what direction you approach it from – an illuminated Angel strung across the main street bugling you into the town or and enormous Lighted Santa Bear across from the Supervalu.
The park has an illuminated swan and swishes of lights enticillant (I think is how the French describe the Eiffel tower when it twinkiles up and down) the trees under which a group of adults are led through a routine of pressups and warmups.(war mups?)
But the dark? Oh yes. It comes at about 5pm these days which is why the lights work. It is an intense dark, not the dirty light we get in Dublin.
On clear nights we are compensated by the spectacular stars. On ordinary nights with the cloud cover I am convinced there is a glow in the sky over Dungarven from the lights that was not there before.
Driving in the dark is not my idea of fun.
Why I picked up a total stranger last night holding a red can for petrol I do not know. But I did and brought him to the nearest petrol station which was 5 km away. He was a simple type honest looking man with a stubbled chin and big eyes. He left his car with the hazards on at the side of the road. When we got back to it I noticed a passenger. ‘ thats my wife’ he told me. ‘ she is very nervous’.
I opened the boot so he could get out the red can of petrol and I wondered where they were going where they lived and a thousand other questions. They faded into the intense darkness, my curiosity unsated ( if thats a word). He did seem to know a lot about cars.
Another six weeks until we reach the shortest day and then another six weeks until its as long as it is today. But can Spring be far behind?