The working day begins

From: *The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), by John Steinbeck:

(*Opening lines of Shakespeare’s Richard III (c. 1592–1594):

“Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York;”)

“…He raised the green shades on the big windows, saying, ‘Come in, day!’ And then he unlocked the front doors, ‘Enter, world.’ He swung the iron-barred doors open and latched them open. And the morning sun lay softly on the pavement as it should, for in April the sun arose right where the High Street ran into the bay. Ethan went back to the toilet for a broom to sweep the sidewalk.

A day, a livelong day, is not one thing but many. It changes not only in growing light towards zenith and decline again, but in texture and mood, in tone and meaning, warped by a thousand factors of season, of heat or cold, of still or multi winds, torqued by odours, tastes, and the fabrics of ice or grass, of bud or leaf or black-drawn naked limbs. And as a day changes so do its subjects, bugs and birds, cats, dogs, butterflies, and people.

Ethan Allen Hawley’s quiet, dim, and inward day was done. The man who swept the morning pavement with metronomic strokes was not the man who could sermonise to canned goods, not a unimum unimorum man, not even a silly-billy man. He gathered cigarette ends and gum wrappers, bud cases from the pollenizing trees, and simple plain dust in the sweep of his broom and moved the windrow of derelict towards the gutter, to await the town men with their silver truck.”

From Online Etymology Dictionary:

windrow (n.)
1520s, from wind (n.1) + row (n.). Because it is exposed to the wind for drying.”


“A Windrow is an elongated mound made from compostable material. Farmers commonly use these hills as a method of producing compost. In this process, farmers collect raw materials to form these mounds, making sure that they are peaked on top for rainfall to land evenly. These mounds have to be watched and regularly turned to ensure that the materials are distributed evenly and that there is no buildup of moisture. The advantage of using windrows is that they can be made in the very fields that they are going to be used in, reducing the amount of the emissions generated during transport.”

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