The Snow Queen has returned to the Western Mountains with a vengeance. With a heavy, wet blanket over a foot thick she descended to smother all of those who had become complacent with a mild winter. In the guise of an icy Amazon, Mother Nature has reasserted the natural order of things: this IS Maine and it IS February. She wails through the trees at 30 miles an hour; toppling some of them and maiming others. The suddeness of her return and the terror of her beauty are awesome in the truest meaning of the word. She is magnificent. The streams freeze in dread at her touch. The Earth shivers into submission and yields to her will. We humans and the birds have had a rude awakening. We've taken too much for granted and now we are being bent to the will of She Who Must Be Obeyed. We were anticipating the early return of Persephone. But she has been consigned once more to the nether regions while the hope for Spring withers on the vine of memory. The Arctic Empress holds sway here and we must bow in obeisance or else be stifled within the frigid folds of her cloak.
I am perhaps one of the few who are glad of her return to the stage although I would have preferred a far less dramatic entrance. I was missing the warmth and crackling of the hearth, sun-dazzled ice crystals across the lawn, and the sound of frozen snow under foot. Soups and stews had lost much of their charm in the balmy temperatures. Many will gleefully take advantage and strap boards to their feet while others drool over the chance to ride those infernal machines across the fields at all hours. I will use this time to replan my flower beds and replot my intended vegetable garden. I am glad that mowing is farther off now than the previous conditions hinted at. Her return allows me to enjoy wearing my winter woolies out of doors and enjoying my peacock's cloak of daydreams indoors a while longer.
It is Maine. It is February. It is as it should be. It is good.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
.....of a new year and another birthday. My fifty-somethingth. And I am glad for both. New year, new beginning. You know, that whole 'clean slate' thing. Some things written on my personal slate in 2011 have left indelible impressions that one hopes will fade with the distance of days. Others will hopefully be repeated and highlighted. I have always been an optimist. Oh, cynical and snarky to be sure, but always an end-of-the-rainbow kind of guy. Hope is the one thing I have gone out of my way to cultivate and nurture wherever and with whomever I've made a home and contributed layers to my life--and hopefully theirs. I was supposed to be the headliner at a birthday gathering of glitterati this evening here at home. A small crowd but a lively one to help usher in the new year with all the accoutrements such a gala can muster in a small community behind the backwoods on the tundra. An ice storm put the skids to that plan so all will commence again tomorrow afternoon in milder temperatures and bright sunshine. And I am glad. I think I prefer to welcome the coming year in a quieter, more subdued atmosphere. I have never made resolutions since the day they're supposed to go into effect is also a day when you're supposed to do whatever makes you happy. Seemed counter-productive so I just gave up on the notion. I will not attempt to resolve anything. I will not make a list of past regrets, either slings or arrows, that will make the champagne at midnight sweeter by comparison. I will not inventory the dings, dents, and other damages to my chassis. I will not promise anything no matter how noble or sincere I might want to sound. The words of a promise are rarely sturdy enough to support the weight of follow-through. I will be quiet. I will think happy thoughts of what may be and how best to appreciate whatever comes. All I really need is just to be. That is enough I think. Time is too precious to be wrapped up in neat little packages all clearly labled. Here's to the adventure of living! Happy New Year to all of you, my friends and Gentle Readers!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah aka Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa to all it either/or applies. And a satisfying Festivus to the rest of us! May you all find solid ways to make the holidays very jolly days!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
'Tis just before Christmas and all through the town, the people are grousing or wearing a frown. They're behaving quite mad or just downright shrewish, preferring, I suppose, they were Buddhist or Jewish. The WalMart's a-buzzing with shoppers rampaging-- oh how happy the bankers must be in Beijing! Hustling and bustling from hither to yon, hunting the best deals before they're all gone. Racing and rushing to spend near and far-- good God almighty, where did I park the car? Pushing and shoving all over the earth-- so much commotion over a simple tot's birth! Scrambling haphazard both to and fro; you'd think they'd be grateful that there ain't any snow. I watch from the sidelines in my comfy cocoon amused by the knowledge 'twill be all over soon. And also because (I gladly remember) that all of my shopping was done in September.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
It is always something of a pleasant surprise--in the truest meaning of that phrase--to discover, somewhat sheepishly, that you aren't as jaded as you've allowed yourself to believe you are. Around midnight this morning I decided to step out and take a look at the full moon--the 'cold' moon they're calling it. I really wish there had been some snow on the ground. There's nothing like a few inches of glistening powder as far as the eye can see under a full moon. The air was indeed cold. Somewhere in the vicinity of holy s*it cold. And there she was; Dianna in all her glory carrying on a celestial flirtation with Orion. Beautiful maiden and rugged hunter each keeping a respetable distance while dancing attendance around one another. Their mutual yearning was almost palpable. I could feel it. The other constellations in their finery could feel it. Every so often Dianna would smile coyly through a gauzy silver haze of cloud as if she were doing a veil dance; teasing, enticing her pursuer. I went back inside to thaw and think. I thought the thoughts a person thinks when it's late, he's not sleepy, and the silence of a still night is deafening. Practical things. Funny things. Sad things. Hopeful things. I suddenly realized that very little of what I considered important and worth while really doesn't matter all that much. I wasn't quite as full of myself as I was when I went outside earlier. It was one of those out-of-the-body-self-realization-reality-check moments we sometimes get and try to forget as quickly as possible. The impression remains and it's the echo's voice you hear in the wee small hours of the soul. I went back outside before turning in. And there they were; Dianna and Orion further off to the north now. She was still holding court a little above him but this time he was to the left where he had been to her right before. Perhaps he thought it was his better side. Or perhaps he was simply giving her right of way. I guess when it comes to loving and being loved it really doesn't matter where you are exactly. What counts is being there and knowing when to yield. Even when it's cold.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Ahhh, the perfect combination of conditions for returning to the blogosphere: blustery cold winds, drizzle, and a serious lack of interest in doing anything domestic. I had intended to return earlier. However, when the urge to make a comeback began to gnaw at me, I discovered that my computer was reliving the Homeric epic by breaching my firewall and gifting me with an infestation of trojan horses. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts was not, unfortunately, the quote for that particular day. Up until then I had been enjoying the wonderful Maine summer and autumn seasons. In June I embarked on a mission to read the classics. It was a return visit to some and a first encounter with others. From Aristotle to Austen, Socrates to Shelley, Cato to Camus, and Plato to Proust. On any given morning I would do what needed to be done--weeding and watering flower beds, mowing, restocking the avian buffet stations etc... The household duties were divided and staggered every other Monday; floor and fixture scrubbing on one, dusting and vaccuming the next, laundry on another and so on. All very ordered. The Queen Mother wanted to modify the routine somewhat but she was overruled. A concession here and there from necessity and scheduling issues but otherwise it went as planned. The afternoons were given over to time travel, dramatic upheavals, romantic sojourns and other flights of fancy. Cook dinner, do dishes, and settle down to work on projects of the artistic craft variety. It was a most enjoyable sabbatical from all things internet. Sometimes you just have to go somewhere and do something else to put things into perspective. I got lots of things done and had the time and space to really appreciate my accomplishments. Just before my computer came down with the plague I reread my previous posts and decided that it was time to rejoin the cyber-literati. The computer had other plans. Apparently I was due to be punished for several months of neglect. After a three-week postponement we are reconciled again and here I am. As warmth and sunshine wither on the vine of memory I suspect I will be here fairly often. I have spent the better part of the day reading vintage posts of my many dear friends and co-bloggers. I can't quite grasp that I was gone that long! Time doesn't exist when you travel through the parallel universe of great writing. HRH the Queen Mum has expressed her pleasure that I have put aside my reading regimen for the time being. Apparently quoting Shakespeare, Dickens, or Twain at every turn was wearing very thin. Go figure.