It is January. Christmas is over, and next week the Fraser Fir tree that my parents and I picked out at the tree farm down the road will be stripped of its decor, loaded back into the car and brought to a recycling center where it will be broken down. The lights will come down and be kept in their boxes until the season returns to us at the end of the new year. The poinsettia will run its course, and the dried flowers and branches will find their place in the garage. In a week, I will return to Toronto, and live not atop a mountain overlooking the lake and valley, but in a flat, looking out into a concrete courtyard with a tree, dormant now I’m sure. At home, the deer will continue to visit, snacking on the shrubs that run along the edge of the cliff and frolicking in the grass. Sometimes the coyote follow, not far behind. The osprey will continue to perch on its usual gnarled tree, staring out toward the lake. The quail, absent for weeks, will soon return to once again scour the land for food.
And the sun will rise and set, and rise and set, over the mountains to the east and beyond the lake to the west.
Along the creek, near my parents’ house, Christmas ornaments hang off branches, bare during the cold winter months until the blossoming of spring.
Plastic ornaments mimic icicles, while fallen trunks and branches stretch across the frozen creek.
The last leaves, browned and dried, cling onto thin branches.
Fiery shrubs bring bursts of color amidst pale grasses along the partially frozen creek.
Black-and-white loons and their young take dips in the water.
For dinner, I pan-fry two fresh rainbow trout.
And so it is a new year. February waits next in line, the seasons continue their cycle, the sun and moon come and go, and I take it day by day.
Go, ill wind go away, skies are oh so gray, around my neighbourhood, and that’s no good.
Music: Ella Fitzgerald – Ill Wind