Sunday, March 09, 2008

Jump Ahead

I have returned from a lengthy stroll over the Longfellow Bridge and through the North End, which I took for several reasons. First, it's a much more interesting way to get physical activity than going around and around on an elliptical machine, although god bless them because running has always made me fell terrible. Second, it's likely that in little more than two months I won't live in the Boston metropolitan area anymore, and because of my constantly cloistered status there's plenty of the city I've not even seen. I bought a discounted student ticket on the T for March, not because I use it enough for the monthly pass to be a good deal, but rather to supply impetus for me to leave MIT more frequently.

Third, and most importantly, it's spring forward day. I recall hating this day when I was in high school; one lacks the maturity at such an age to appreciate that the sacrifice of one hour's sleep is a measly price to pay for the coming of the warmer months and longer days. Both are important. It was 40 and sunny when I walked, a perfectly nice afternoon. But I can feel it's now that it's March, we can't be that far from the first block of 55-degree sunny afternoons, and their nearness is too tantalizing to bear. And I don't think people properly appreciate the spiritual effect of sunlight -- I love living in the North, but nothing's more depressing than getting off work to find utter darkness greeting you. The Swedes, a warm and effusive people on the long high-latitude summer days, revert to their more typical emotional hibernation when it's dark.

But yesterday the sun set at 6, and today the sun set at 7. The world never changed, the day didn't get any longer, but today feels a world apart. If you ever doubted relativity, eat that for lunch.

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