Holidays start here in the hollow on December 21st with the winter solstice and run through the new year. Late autumn and early winter open their arms to us as the planets turn and tilt in the winter sky.
Orion begins to rise in the south shooting his arrows upward as he sinks into the black night and one cannot help but think of Lord Tennyson’s Locksley Hall where
“Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the west.”
We especially love getting emails from NASA to sight the International Space Station. Winter gives the widest horizon. Watching that intrepid beam of light chugging along around 17,000 miles per hour just 254 miles above us, filled with the best of humanity working toward common knowledge never fails to inspire me. They’ve got a long way to go to catch up to Captain Kirk and Dr. Spock, but still. https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/
Harvesting random seeds this year brought back memories from Monticello, sifting and saving seeds in the long-gone greenhouse on rainy days, rubbing knees and elbows and sharing stories with old friends Bucky, Rich, Craig, Skip, Peggy, Colin, and Vejay (the “pretty boys” that summer).
Days long gone but memories like seeds live on.
Picked just a bit of running cedar for the holidays from the little patch that ekes out its existence on a north-facing slope up the road that abuts our land. It runs from the mountain laurel that flourishes under the utility line cut down the bank through yellow birch, Christmas holly and smooth hydrangea.
Although I’ve seen morel and ginseng hunters parked along the road in spring – fall and winter bring white trash deer hunters who strew their Miller Lite cans, liquor bottles, fast food wrappers, and occasional carcasses – I’ve never noticed anyone poaching the running cedar. No one knows it’s there but me.