Thursday, December 26, 2013

Winding down

Did you all find what you were wishing for under the tree? I hope so. Santa and my relatives were very kind (especially the no neckties part). Several of us around here are in a post-Christmas mode, experiencing the let down that often comes after a great day, something about what goes up must come down. This morning, for a few minutes, there was a brief glimpse of sun in the sky. (Since we're just back from watching The Hobbit, part 2, I'm tempted to say that sunrise looked like the eye of Sauron, but I won't.) It was pretty striking, though. It looked like this.

Winter sun rise
Winter sun rise             © harrington

You may have noticed that the rants on these pages have been few and far between recently. That's not because there's nothing to rant about. We've been trying to keep in the spirit of the season. Now that the season is winding down, we'll start ramping up the rants. (I know, I know, you can't wait.) While we're still in a mellow mood, though, here's a picture from this morning of some snow capped oak branches. I think it's a pretty winter sight, although it would definitely be enhanced if one of the snowy owls that has migrated to Minnesota were perched on a branch. (Some of you might have figured out by now that I have a "thing" for owls.) Edward Thomas writes about an owl in a way to make us mindful of those, like the long term unemployed, who haven't fared as well this season as many of us have. If we're the greatest country on earth, why can't we do better by our vulnerable citizens? (Just asking.)

snowy oak sans snowy owl
snowy oak sans snowy owl     © harrington

The Owl

By Edward Thomas 

Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.

Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,
Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except
An owl’s cry, a most melancholy cry

Shaken out long and clear upon the hill,
No merry note, nor cause of merriment,
But one telling me plain what I escaped
And others could not, that night, as in I went.

And salted was my food, and my repose,
Salted and sobered, too, by the bird’s voice
Speaking for all who lay under the stars,
Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice. 

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