Reprieve

A sunstruck afternoon in February — I opened the windows and aired out the house. The kids jumped off the back deck, ate potato chips, planned building projects we needed to start right away.

A trustee signed off on an email to me, Happy sap run. These are the intimations of sugaring season, the beginning of the thaw and freeze, thaw and freeze. When we first began sugaring, twenty years ago, I believe the thaw would come in a rush and stay. Not so. Thaw and more thaw, studded with bursts of hard cold, slowly melts the frost down deep.

(I had) a revelation the first time I ever flew in an airplane as a kid: when you break through the cloud cover you realize that above the passing squalls and doldrums there is a realm of eternal sunlight, so keen and brilliant you have to squint against it, a vision to hold on to when you descend once again beneath the clouds, under the oppressive, petty jurisdiction of the local weather.

— Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing: Essays

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