Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winding down the year

Neither the dog nor the dog walker took any pleasure in this morning's walk. The temperature was about -10. As the pair walked on the compacted snow, it squeaked. By mid-day, the sun brightened the sky but didn't raise the comfort level for man or beast nearly as much. The siders are probably someplace drinking coffee. It's too cold for them to be working.

The beginning of the end for a Christmas village
Photo by J. Harrington

Demolition has started on the gingerbread village. An evil troll(?) has consumed the first house and several of the trees appear to have been used as toothpicks. (burp) There were no survivors because there were no inhabitants. For public health and safety reasons, the abandoned village, whose residents apparently returned to the North Pole promptly after Christmas, has been cordoned off. Visitors other than the demolition crew are prohibited. Demolition will proceed as expediently as the debris can be digested. Fortunately, this deconstruction work takes place in heated quarters so it's not affected by weather conditions. If, instead of a Christmas village, there was a logging camp, do you suppose it would last until ice out and the river drive?

It might be a little early to wish you a happy, healthy and successful New Year, but then again on New Year's Eve you might be busy doing something other than reading My Minnesota's Best Wishes to its readers.

Burning the Old Year

By Naomi Shihab Nye 

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,   
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn’t do   
crackle after the blazing dies. 


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