On November 22nd we will pass into the period of Minor Snow (xiǎo xuě 小雪). My friend who runs the cat rescue had flurries as early as the evening of the 9th. The weather has been colder earlier than the past few years, but on days when precipitation has been forecast, it has been the product of warm fronts.
There has been heavy frost, which requires standing out in the cold to scrape it off the windows of the truck.I dislike going out. The humidity is gone at last. This I mind not in the least.
The pentads for this solar term, which ends December 7th, are actually describing what is happening, which is not always the case. Sometimes they don’t even seem to make sense. The first pentad is “‘Rainbows are concealed from view 虹藏不見”. Rainbows were considered to be the result of mixing yin and yang energy. Winter is heavily yin, there is no mixing and no one sees rainbows. In the second pentad, “The qi of the sky ascends, the qi of the earth descends.” 天氣上騰地氣下降. The qi (chi) is retreating into it’s place of origin and activity in the natural world is diminishing. The last pentad or ten day period of the term is called “‘Closure and stasis create winter 閉塞而成冬”. As mixing ends cmpletely and the qi retreats into the earth and sky, the natural world enters a state of dormancy, exemplified by animals going into hibernation.
The cats are spending more time cuddling and wanting the same from me. It is that cold that even Cloud is not meowing loudly for me to open the windows so he can sit on the sill. I am going to brave Black Friday to get a deal on bird seed. I feel that the winter will be a cold one. I think they will need some help this year and it also gives the cats something to amuse them.
I am looking forward to making a nice Thanksgiving dinner. All that cooking will help to warm the house and fill it with good smells. I had a chance to get a pair of Cornish hens at the farmer’s market and set them aside in the freezer for the occasion. My little Mini loved turkey so much I get sad at the thought of turkey. And none of the other cats really like it that much. Milk likes chicken and Mo likes pork. But accompanied by winter squash, sweet potatoes, creamed onions, oyster dressing, and hot cider the hens will be just fine. The cats will get treats and catnip and lots of attention. There are many people in the world who have more but far vaster numbers who have far less. I am thankful for how much I have in comparison and especially for my wonderful feline companions to share the day. Normally this also celebrates the start of our winter retreat into a time of writing, reading, planning and contemplation. This year Minor Snow will rather initiate an acceleration of the construction work on the inside of the house. Whether the snow is light or heavy or fails to appear at all, we are going to be ready for winter.