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)

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