The trunk from Russia currently sits in my bedroom here in French Woods, NY. In the off season I store our winter coats and snow clothes in it. Sometimes I stash Christmas presents in the old, heavy trunk. It rests, inconspicuously, in the corner under the east window.
I’m not big on awards shows. Don’t get me wrong—it’s kind of cool when folks are acknowledged for one thing or another, especially when it’s by their peers. And it’s not sour grapes, either, since I’ve received one or three over the years.
I usually take a hike through some nearby forest first thing in the morning when home, about a mile or so if the weather is not too severe. Most mornings over the last two weeks I have been hearing a flock of wild turkeys around the same spot. There is a field where they like to browse for food, and where there are many oak trees nearby.
As the first snowflakes flutter from the sky, the cavalcade of seasonal events begin anew, offering me the opportunity to re-think, re-do and renew. They say that with each passing year, the time flies more quickly and now that I’m over 40 (LOL) I can see what “they” mean.
[Peace and Justice Files columnist Skip Mendler, having spent three months helping with refugee assistance in Serbia, is now back in Krefeld, Germany, doing local volunteer work, performing with a refugee theatre group, and contemplating his next move.]
I don’t know if you remember your first time… undergoing cell division, that is.
As winter weather visits the Upper Delaware River region, the temptation to stay indoors can be overwhelming. We find ourselves becoming more sedentary, when what we really need is to gear up with layered clothing and head out into the bracing air and stark beauty of the season.
I love autumn and all the rituals of buttoning down for the winter—unpacking the heavier quilts, putting the garden to bed, outfitting the screen doors with storm windows and building the woodpile in preparation for evenings around the wood stove.
Thanks to Mom and the ritual of bedtime storytelling, one of my earliest recollections is drifting off to sleep hearing “Charlotte’s Web” read aloud, chapter by chapter, and the building excitement anticipating how the story might unfold.
Our editor, Anne Willard, recently mentioned to me that she had seen concern expressed about the apparent lack of small birds in the a region via the online Upper Delaware network. People were worried because birds were not visiting their feeders, and they were not hearing many birds calling in the woods as they had earlier.
This year’s transition from summer to winter has been stalling out for over a month now. Thus far, we have had very few nights below freezing and daytime temperatures have been very warm. This type of weather has been great to be out on the water, but the unseasonable warmth has kept the cool-weather, blue-winged olive hatches behind schedule.