49° at 42° on December 24

After the prolonged riot of autumn winter was going to leach saturation from the landscape and bring everything back to basics of shape and shade. Instead, day after day, we gorged on a riot of color in a drenched woods.

Today it’s over. Colors are shouting “I’m alive” while disappearing under a very definitive layer of icy snow, itself bringing a new feast to work on next.

As we nervously debate whether this is what we get to expect from climate change and whether there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that we get out of this alive as a species (will there be oxygen when the trees are all gone?), I think about simply enjoying being out there without the guilt of not doing anything useful to stop it, at least not right at that very moment. Is feasting on the colors and smells of the boggy wetness that sustains me a way of sticking my head into the mud by kneeling in it? To hell with it, I think, après nous le deluge, we must indulge to commit.

Pum taught me during 47 years and miles upon miles of adventure that the pleasure of a walk in the park can equal that of an expedition to the Grand Canyon as long as you’re willing to jump into each puddle with both feet — and know that there are canyons out there for next year’s adventure of course.

Here’s hoping… and here’s some color on a dreary day.

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