Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mirror mirror on the mountain

Winter in Ohio sucks. I’ve always felt that way. The sun disappears for months. The land is so flat that snow-sports other than angel making are basically impossible. I dislike the season so much that I wrote this in one of my Travelin’ Light columns a few years ago:

The wind howls, blasting tiny ice pellets against my window. It’s 7 AM, but it is pitch-black outside. I roll out from beneath the covers and plant my left foot onto the floor, the cold floor. The blood retreats from my toes. My right foot protests as I do the same with it. Seven more steps and I am in the bathroom squinting at myself in the mirror. I have a reflection, but it is “vampyric”- pale, bloodless, and horrifying. My skin itches and my knuckles bleed. Each arm is tattooed with the word “DRY” that I etched with my fingernail two days before. It’s winter in Ohio.

It’s depressing, but I’ve always taken some consolation that surely somewhere there is a village that sits in the shadow of a cliff and never sees the sun.

There is. At least there used to be.

The town of Viganella, in the shadow of the Alps, sits at a base of such a cliff. For 800 years the village went without direct sunlight from November 11th to February 2nd. Until now.

The mayor of the village has installed a mirror atop a nearby mountain that is angled to shine light on the town square. It measures 26 feet by 15 feet. The story is practically a fairytale. Read: Mirror mirror on the mountain please let the sun shine on our fountain.

In the history of politics, filled with smoke and mirrors, this may be the first time that a politician has used an actual mirror. Ingenious. If the governor of Ohio built a system of mirrors that brought us Caribbean sunshine during the winter months, I would vote for him. I wouldn’t care what his politics were.

As winter days go, today seems pretty sunny. I think I’ll bundle-up and go outside to give my dogs a hug. Because, as the villagers of Viganella know, when the sun is a shining you should go out and warm your nose in it.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Looks like a contraption Dr. Evil would use to melt the polar ice-caps.