I have strongly mixed feelings about this time of year. The leaves are gone. The orioles and yellow finches that flittered and filled our back yard with song have left. Even the cornstalks that hemmed us in on four sides have been picked, chopped, and tilled under. The Briar Patch feels exposed, as the season of life has been replaced with a period of dormancy.
And yet… there are fires in the fireplace. Hot drinks taste better during these days. We’re bringing the dogs in more often at night, letting them sit on their “places” and add warmth to the living room. And there is also the anticipation of snow, and cross country skis, and friends wearing sweaters, hats, and mittens.
I was created for the seasons. I married someone who was created for the seasons. And we have children and pets that have been created for the seasons. I don’t think the Piphers would last long in a place that didn’t change, even from life to bittersweet dormancy.
Each new year is a surprise to us.
We find that we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird,
and when we hear it again, it is remembered like a dream,
reminding us of a previous state of existence…
The voice of nature is always encouraging.
— Henry David Thoreau