The world is burning down, but in the middle of the chaos, it is important to get outside. Vitamin D, endorphins, dopamine? I dunno the physiology of it, but COVID cowers when confronted by bare-faced nature.
As a prescriptive move, we went to New Hampshire over Easter, and hiked to the top of a little stunted mountain. The hike was listed as “moderate” in trail guide, but this is true only if you are moderately in shape. The husband, kids, and dog scrambled nimbly to the top. I walked behind them, which is a diplomatic way of saying they remained out of sight for much of the hike. Then I saw this rock that some soft-hearted poor speller had left in the crook of a tree, as thought it had been left just for me.”u r lovd” the rock said, and I knew everything would be alright. This was just before the bear attack. (Ha, just kidding. Though an asthma attack was eminently possible.)
Easter services were held in a tiny chapel on the side of the road. In attendance were the same four people I’ve been staring at for the 13 months of COVID isolation. The service was short as a result.
The weekend — miserable hike and all — marks the beginning of bouncing back. The world will open up again (if we don’t burn it down first), and in the meantime I’m planting new little baby seeds and harvesting the spring greens from the greenhouse. In your face, entropy.
The dramatic title of the post is in direct proportion to the dramatic descriptions in predicting the havoc that the storm — due to arrive nearly any minute now — will wreak here on the East Coast. Terms like “apocalyptic” have become commonplace over the last few days. But I took my primitive pre-storm panic impulses in hand and refused to race to the store to buy loaves of bread and gallons of milk. (I’ve never been clear on why we all buy milk when the electricity is almost certain to go out. Guzzling warm milk by candlelight while eating slices of bread…ummm…delicious.) Instead I raced out to take pictures of the last traces of the our yard & surrounding woods in Autumn. It’s always sad to say goodbye to Fall, that beautiful season of decay. And this Fall has been especially lovely, with day after day of cool air and blue skies, of sunlight filtered through intense yellows and variations of orange and burnt umber. I don’t know exactly what the color burnt umber is, but I’m using the descriptive anyway, as it just sounds like Autumn.
So here it is: The Last Moments of Burnt Umber Before the Apocalypse. Which will no doubt sweep it all away. And when the veil is lifted, our field of vision will be limited to the skeletal remains of trees and a sky the color of slate. This will be the state of things for approximately the next, oh, six months or so. The Storm is coming, and with it, the beginning of the long, dark New England winter. Bring on the candlelight and warm milk.
The ocean — calm for now — just beyond the trees.
cosmos, still in bloom.