Sunday Searching

Evidence below of color in the February Vermont landscape.

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When we sugared, February was the month of gauging when to tap — and sometimes a month when we began boiling. Other years, the winter dragged on and on, and February often seemed a month of hurry up and get ready to sugar — and then wait.

Having spent most of my adult life sugaring, those physical patterns wore into me. At a concert the other night, I thought how the drummer must have the habit of transporting his drums, to all kinds of places.

Winter, for long-term New Englanders, I think, comes with its own kind of baggage, our knowledge of particular hardnesses of snow, or the how the fluffiness of drifting snow globe flakes should be savored. Or, perhaps, our determination to seek that flash of color in a landscape of white.

The unexamined life is not worth living, as the aphorism goes, but perhaps an honorable and informed life requires examining others’ lives, not just one’s own. Perhaps we do not know ourselves unless we know others. And if we do, we know that nobody is nobody.

Rebecca Solnit, Whose Story is This?