A walk-taker in a woolen Scottish cap greets me not with a chin tilt and a blink, but with a full-armed wave and a noisy hello. An old lady appreciates the mid-afternoon sunset and flecks of gold and flamingo pink dance in her eyes. People buy wasabi, cayenne, and fractals of ginger; they sweat at their kitchen tables. Dogs, predictably, leap at the abundance of dead things to smell and dig. Artists putter in their garages at night, warmed by concentration. So we know that the advancing winter doesn’t shadow northern spirits– no, we take it as a dare to burn on. And in the small window of a house that the south-clinging sun barely touches, a net of Christmas lights glows, all hours, despite rising electricity bills: a galaxy more luminous with each darkening hour.