Monday, February 3, 2014

The sense of time

I'm beginning to think the "investment community's" obsession with near term time frames is rubbing off on all of us. Too many of us have lost a sense of the longer term and how the same time each year doesn't bring the same weather and phenomena. Exactly one year ago, the neighborhood was coated in a beautiful hoarfrost. This year nothing like it so far. I'll be curious to see how our late Winter, early Spring (normally mud season) shape up this year.

February 2013 hoarfrost
February 2013 hoarfrost       © harrington

My general impression after 40+ years here is that Minnesota gets Spring "right" about one year out of ten. I remember coping with three inches of fresh snow just before a midnight Mille Lacs May walleye opener many, many years ago. Not my idea of Spring. Most years we seem to leap from highs in the 60's one week to the 90's the next. That doesn't mean that we don't have celebrations of Spring that are worth getting out to see. Four years ago, early March brought the migrants pictured below to the neighborhood. They hung around, adding some class and some cygnets to the place. It will be a most pleasant surprise if we have numbers of waterfowl here in early March this year. Christine Stewart-Nuñez makes it clear that what we think we're communicating doesn't always come through. Another reason to slow down and take a longer perspective as often as we can.

Spring swans at Carlos Avery
Spring swans at Carlos Avery   © harrington


By Christine Stewart-Nuñez 
Through the bedroom window
a February sunrise, fog suspended
between pines. Intricate crystals—
hoarfrost lace on a cherry tree.
My son calls out, awake. We sway,
blanket-wrapped, his head nuzzling
my neck. Hoarfrost, tree—I point,
shaping each word. Favorable
conditions: a toddler’s brain, hard
data-mining, a system’s approach.
Hoar, he hears. His hand reaches
to the wallpaper lion. Phenomena
converge: warmth, humidity,
temperature’s sudden plunge;  
a child’s brain, objects, sound.
Eyes widening, he opens his mouth
and roars. 

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