Friday, February 03, 2006

Urge for Going

What will happen if we simply stop having winter?

The other day we had a fierce desire to listen to Tom Rush sing Urge for Going. We once had it on a compilation disc of his, but I loaned it out and it has yet to return. I searched iTunes for his version and couldn't find, but found this amazing one done live by Dave Van Ronk recorded shortly before his death in 2002. Urge for Going written by Joni Mitchell is a beautiful piece of music that describes in folk-song eloquence the winters of Saskatchewan. A place where winter descended relentlessly out of the arctic north and had an impact on everyone's life in a frozen grip that could last for months.

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
and shivering trees are standing in a naked row
I get the urge for going but I never seem to go

I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I had me a man in summertime
He had summer-colored skin
And not another girl in town
My darling's heart could win
But when the leaves fell trembling down
Bully winds did rub their faces in the snow
He got the urge for going And I had to let him go

He got the urge for going
When the meadow grass was turning brown
Summertime was falling down and winter was closing in

The warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout
And all that stays is dying and all that lives is getting out
See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow
They've got the urge for going, they've got the wings to go

They get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I'll ply the fire with kindling and pull the blankets to my chin
and I'll lock the vagrant winter out and bolt my wandering in
I'd like to call back summertime and have her stay just another month or so
She's got the urge for going and I guess she'll have to go

And she gets the urge for going when meadow grass is turning brown
All her empires are falling down
winter's closing in

I've been reading some of Wayne's recent posts over at Niches on the temperatures for the past six months, and it's been quite alarming. What will happen if we stop having winter? How will anything know where and when to go, and grow? How will anything have an urge for going? A few degrees warmer is all it will take to disrupt everything. For those folks who ask what the big deal is with global warming, saying it's only a degree or two-- Ever see ice melt?

I really do wonder what's going to happen when we stop having winter.

UPDATE: A major storm has slammed into the Pacific Northwest. We lost power at 5:30 Saturday morning. I'm updating this on dial-up in the dark. The worst of the storm is supposed to hit between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm. Hurricane-force gusts are predicted. No telling when we'll get our power back. The propane heater is working, and we're cozy. I just bought the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, so as soon as the sun is up, the laptop gets turned off and I will get back into this most incredible tale.

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