Armistice Day

This is the gray time in New England, when even the daylight is dull. Gone are the spring days of blue squill, the early morning birdsong.

After dinner, we walk in the dark.

My daughter and I read for hours. Later, she disappears for a run, while I proceed with my persistent thread of work. In all this, Marlboro College, where I was an undergraduate, appears (truly, this time) on the precipice of closing. All weekend, I follow the alumni FB thread — grief, anger, plotting — while I keep thinking of Marlboro and how much this tiny college gave me. I’m not alone in that, I see, listening to alumni after alumni.

November. Our house is warm. I open the curtains and let in the daylight. At 4 p.m., the noisy cat comes and yowls over my book, demanding his dinner. My daughter puts on her ski boots and walks around the house, listening to snow in the forecast. November: life churns on.

The rain had been falling with a pounding meanness, without ceasing for two days, and then the water rose all at once in the middle of the night, a brutal rush so fast Asher thought at first a dam might have broken somewhere upstream. The ground had simply become so saturated it could not hold any more water.

(The opening lines of Southernmost, by Silas House)


10 thoughts on “Armistice Day

  1. Squill…I had to look that one up! But of course I knew the flowers, I just never knew what they were called. Marlboro too? That’s so discouraging to hear. BTW I was curious about the headwaters of the Lamoille, so traced it on the atlas and see that it’s directly across from Horse Pond. Did you go and scramble down to it? It’s fascinating to see that mighty rivers sometimes have such humble beginnings. I often like to imagine headwaters as somewhat sacred places, or at least having a
    mystical quality in the air. But can’t quite imagine that right next to Rte. 16!

    • Humble is the word for it. I found it mesmerizing — the teenage companion was not so enamored. Even more interesting was the proximity of Horse Pond to Runaway Pond, which drains north to Memphramagog. Interesting!

  2. Shadow had their heart set on going to Marlboro after we spent an entire day there last month. It was such a great fit for Shadow and we were ready to send in the application when the news broke. So sad on so many fronts. I hope for some miracle…

  3. I remember visiting there when I was on my college search- and was entranced. And by the notion Pablo Casals has been there for a time – or am I imagining that? Just recently there was a deal in the works that then fell through re Marlboro and near where I am – University of Bridgeport- a more unlikely match I cannot imagine- but was intrigued. Oh well.

  4. Pablo Casals had been there. Marlboro has the very famous Marlboro Music Festival in the summers. Now the suggested pairing is to ship students and faculty to Emerson in Boston. For others to determine, not me…..

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