winter is coming

The time has come: thick blankets replace radiant sunshine; lazy strolls are no more, as we quicken our pace and lengthen our strides; greens burn brightly then fade to muted grays and browns.

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Today was the last of the 70s. We relished it, walking for hours along the trails. Boomer was our escort, greeting each stone and each tree and each leaf and enthusiastically alerting us to each delicious squirrel that dared to pass within 100 yards of our path. We met another miniature schnauzer, and a friendly pit bull, as well as two young sisters on their own adventure and a lady who smiled and yelled that we were beautiful across the gas station property. We watched a soccer game and thought to ourselves how nice it would be to have peanut butter and honey and bananas. We couldn’t stop smiling, our hearts happy for the taste of golden sunlight on our bare, hungry skin.

It’s time I steel myself for the bitter chills ahead, for little e deserves to revel with rosy cheeks kissed by stinging wind and salty tears that spill over upon winter’s embrace. He’ll be wrapped up tight but still outside, welcoming the third and fourth seasons: the dying and the dead.

My son was born in the spring. He smiled in the summer. He gazes at his changing world, the blaze of leaves and the people all bundled. He’ll sing in the winter, a slow song of waiting and quiet joy. We’ll continue to live; I’ll continue to live, however much I’ll miss the sun.

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Also if I belong anywhere I belong in the North. I refuse to be a kneeler.

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