Monday, December 13, 2010

Hunkered down with mysticism

It's 10 AM here in Wisconsin, the morning after a major snowstorm. The landscape's been done over in pure fresh white, the sun is out, the sky a clear high blue.

How inviting!

How deceptive.

Right now, it is 4 degrees F (-15 degrees C).

The cold long ago killed the annuals. The perennials' life hums low, low in their crowns. In the vegetable garden, two kinds of kale bend under a cap of snow. The hybrid teas struggle, their styrofoam hats a lifeline. Down in the ground, everything is locked tight: bacteria, earthworms, Japanese Beetle grubs sleep together in a frosted bed. The little birds have fled, the only thing moving are crows and seagulls--streaks of black, streaks of white.

Fast forward a few months and the landscape will shout in yellow-green "Vegetable life resurrected!" The kale will land in the cooking pot, the roses will shoot red red red. For now, though, everything lies still, as still as a grave except the wraiths streaking overhead, black, white, black.

Death, the clear cold sky, the sleepers in the dust.  Then, rebirth in the garden. We're hunkered down with mysticism here.

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