Friday, December 14, 2007

FIELD NOTES: There is something in a love-hate relationship...

Sometime in December, 2007

...that keeps one coming back for more, and so it is with the New England winter that imposes when autumn is still on the calendar. We are already in our second storm. I am a ‘summer’ by all calculations – sun-lightened and sun-warmed, at my best in shorts and sandals and aqua-marine and white. Still, I gather what I need, and then, devilishly wish for snow, for bitter cold and howling wind, to trap me, to cut me off, to keep me in one place, to challenge my comfort, to excuse me from socializing, to prove that being stubborn has it virtues and its beauties like spring’s first crocuses and pansies, both soft and brave. By the mailbox, under the old pines that stick up like a giant set of knives, I found a frozen squirrel, not a mark on her: eyes open, mouth closed, an image of some inevitable ending, simply fallen from her perch as if her parachute had failed at the last moment. Before the snow came, I scooped her up in my garden shovel and carried her gently to the woods and put her in a hole under the leaves and acorns and pine cones that had been her world (and still is a part of mine). Aqua-marine and white have become suspended now; the earth and sky are crystallized, cryogenic, awaiting a gradual thaw that will make their hardness once again yield to the touch, make us unravel with pleasure after a long, solitary confinement. Endurance, hibernation, deprivation – it is nature’s cold, hard beauty that I love and hate so much.

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