One of the things to be thankful for is that everybody who hadn’t been out since summer came out this past weekend and realized how many lights they’d left on in their houses. On Sunday, when all those people left again, and with climate change talks coming up, they were careful to turn off their lights. And so.Here come the cherished, shortest, coldest, darkest time of the year. These depressive days are only marginally improved by the proximity of Christmas, a highly artificial holiday that includes a lot of energy-wasting activities. Gone are the hibernating ways of the exultant pagan.
I plant the paper whites, like I do every year, and put them near the window. Each day, I note their progress, when the growth spurt straightens, when the roots descend and tangle along the glass-walled bowl. I turn them as they grow, wanting them not to lean, waiting for the day my house begins to be filled with their flowers’ sear.
But even the good, old paper whites, Narcissus as they are also known, have a mythical complex to behold—vanity. This self-infatuation doomed the youth to a yearning for his own reflection so deeply that he could not stir away from it. He eventually slipped off the lily pad and drowned. The gods put a star next to his name, signifying that Narcissus was a good lesson to keep in circulation.
The double crack of both shells echo over Sagg Pond. A few gunshots greet the pink dawn and the official start to the waterfowl season. When there were a lot of fields, and a lot of farms, there were a lot more hunters. They had their blinds, legacy blinds, and a few still do. Those are where the shots come from this morning.
Though some see violence in the hunter’s stance, the sound is nonetheless nostalgic, a pastoral glimpse of man thigh-deep in nature’s bounty. Later, both things, the violence and the bounty, come to sit side by side in the refrigerator. The butchered birds reside in plastic bags and are divvied out among us.