With The Winter Coming On, I’m Just Looking For A Hand To Warm

Christmas is now two days past. Soon along these rural backroads will appear the husks of evergreens rotting in ditches, bits of tinsel still clinging brightly to sagging branches. All the tree stands will shutter, giant Santas deflated and packed away, these vacant lots abandoned of activity until autumn creates a market demand for pumpkins once more. This is a lonely time of year, though it means plentiful birthdays in our families. Now the true force of winter settles upon the land, all whirring heaters and taps left open to avoid the freeze, breath fogging beneath a curve of shimmering clear stars on walks to the mailbox. The cats will begin to spend more time with us beneath the covers, relishing our heat and purring, dozing and dreaming of tall summer grasses.

This decade is ending on a downbeat note for our part of the world, of course, considering the political and environmental crises we find ourselves embroiled in. All one can do is hope against hope for better in the coming year and new decade to follow, and swallow our cynicism and weary resignation in the desperate wish that the tide will turn towards decency and love once more. Meanwhile, the money is slow in coming and the infrastructure continues to collapse, components and machinery rusting neglected into the fallow soil. Night brings darker shadows that give rise to unsettling thoughts of potential civil war, apocalypse, climate desolation and ruin at the hands of the ignorant and the misled. For now we’ll ration our meager supply of sunlight to wait and see what the 2020s will bring, and if it will mean a change for the better or an irrevocable turn towards entropy. Our country’s arrived at a turning point, and I’d like to believe we’ll course correct while there’s still time, before an irrevocable change brings down the system itself, burning and weeping.

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