Columbus Day has always been for me the true beginning of our march to winter. The possibilities of warm Indian summer days seem to end as if an invisible switch has been thrown, and the cold, dark days descend on us with all their melancholy and grayness. Summer is truly over.
We move from the outside to the inside and adjust our lifestyle and life rhythm. Some of us start moving into our winter weight, and others go to the gym. The end of the month brings daylight savings time - and it really gets glum!
As children we celebrated the discovery of America - “In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue” - and had an odd day off from school. Hey, any day off from school was a good day.
Sponsored by the Queen of Spain, Isabel, Columbus set out from the old world with three very small ships and sailed across the Atlantic to discover what was called the New World. Spain became the fabulously wealthy dominant power in Europe for decades, and Columbus was robbed of his titles and holdings and died poor - or so the story goes.
The oldest European settlement on the American continent, St. Augustine, was established in the early 1500s. Spain colonized and controlled the South American continent and much of the southern part of the North American continent, acquiring unbelievable wealth from the gold they plundered from the Americas. The Spanish held their colonies for over 300 years.
We celebrate the beginning of our season of darkness with Columbus Day. Wonder why.
A point to ponder.
Phil Mikan is the host of the Phil Mikan Show on WMRD 1150/WLIS AM 1420 daily at 10 a.m. and the Weekend Corner Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to him at Phil Mikan, Central Connecticut Communications, One Liberty Square, New Britain, CT 06051.