The Cremation of MMX

Because the calendar — not our position in the cosmos, tilt of the Earth or phase of the moon — said so, a new year began on Saturday. I have often wondered if the Winter Solstice and the lengthening of days made more sense as the start of the year, but we humans are much too smart to fall for such a primitive, simple way to anticipate and mark the passage of time. With moon phases and other quaint folklore reduced to trivia in small print, our modern calendar has quite sensibly divided the year into months of un-equal, seemingly random length and managed to conjure an entire bonus day every four years which we, in our wisdom, tack on to the end of February, one of the worst months of all. Sensible or not, we use the same calendar as everyone else and Friday night was a night of revelry at Fish in a Barrel Pond.

Quill Gordon Supervises A Man with a Gas Can

Quill Gordon Stands Further Away and to the Other Side

Quill Gordon Shows How It’s Done

Now You’re Cooking With Gas!


Shaking the Pile, Just for Grins

The last brush pile of 2010 — and all it symbolized — was reduced to ashes in the first hours of 2011, a large circle of filthy, steaming slush standing in for a clean slate and a fresh start. The first sunrise of 2011 was feeble at best, representing nothing more — I hope — than a good day to hit the woods, which I did.

Not beholden to calendars and other such contrivances, the trees did not share my feelings a I tromped through the remnants of last week’s blizzard. One grouse flushed along the way, blasting its way from beneath a tiny balsam as I passed, and for a second I entertained the thought that my heart might never beat normally again. Otherwise, the woods were still. The snow was too deep for easy movement, at least for those who can not tunnel their way through, and the only tracks I saw were from coyotes working the edges of the lake, hoping to surprise an unsuspecting beaver or otter.

New Year’s Day 2011

Yesterday was once the future and tomorrow will soon be the past. Calendars or not, the world keeps turning and the seasons keep changing in an eternal slog through time, an endless procession of days. Don’t watch them go by like a slow motion parade. Make the most of every day in 2011.

Happy New Year, Y’all.

To the Woods

Categories: nature, Rural Life, Vermont, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “The Cremation of MMX


    nice post. love the night pics of the big fire! I fully expected each photo that followed the next to be the one to say ” Quill Stops, Drops and Rolls.

  2. I held back on pictures of the marshmallow roasting, partly because the action was too fast and furious to capture clearly. Fresh out of marshmallow sticks, we were forced to use Tenkara rods, dangling those sugary morsels just above the inferno from 13 feet away. Once we had the distance right and the marshmallows stopped bursting into flame, we had problems with them dripping off the hooks. Then the lines went up and we thought about just sticking them on the tips of our Tenkara rods but it was too late. We had to drop them like, well, hot, flaming sticks and stomp them out in the slush, but mostly I held back those photos because I know how sensitive the practitioners of Tenkara can be about their rods.

    There was no dropping and rolling (on purpose anyway) but there may have been a smoking eyebrow or two and I’m pretty sure my beard is shorter than it used to be.

  3. Susie

    Ah, once again, you send me off to sleep chuckling, dear cousin. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  4. Nancy Spivey

    How do you manage to make the cold, damp, murkiness of a January morning sound so appealing????

  5. Pingback: Fahrenheit 219 | The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond

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