As has been noted repeatedly in our house — the cats live in their own sleeping and dreaming schedule, small world within our world. My daughter, heading out early to work, remarks about this again.
October, and the days shorten daily. I’m awake in the dark with the full moon and a radiance of clouds passing over our house. The cats appreciate their full bowls, and I stir the wood stove’s ashes, grateful for the bone-dry wood I lay on the embers.
As I make coffee, I remember strands of a conversation I had yesterday with someone I’ve known peripherally for years. His parents met in Eastern Europe at the end of World War II. We swap stories for a bit, and I tell him about my grandparents who immigrated from Romania. He spoke Hungarian as a child and later returned to the country and relearned, to an extent, his original language.
My cats oversee what I’m doing with the wood stove (proprietary as always about their heat source). The acquaintance and I mused for a bit about the loss of language in the Great American Empire, the great push for conformity. But that’s facile, too. Our ancestors lived in harder times and sought reasonable things — a steadier life, a solid home, maybe even peace.
All afternoon, I pull up frost-killed flower stalks and bury hard knots of bulbs — narcissus and crocus. My hands stain with soil. The sunlight is radiant but thin now, scant. The fatness of spring looms so distantly that these bulbs I plant don’t even seem a promise. Walking around, appraising, I note the barn needs painting. Next spring, I think. Get on it then.
…. And a quote from Laurence Bergreen’s phenomenal book Columbus: The Four Voyages.
To his Sovereigns and their ministers, it was intended as a landgrab and a way to plunder gold. Instead, it became, through forces Columbus inadvertently set in motion and only dimly understood, the most important voyage of its kind ever made.