While ice gripped the limbs, the oak’s trunk rose from frozen clay and stilled in the crystalline sky. I could not bear to look at the young oak, for it knew something about Indiana winters, yet not enough for the new generation. Decembers are never quite the same nowadays since climate change has made measuring the weather more of an annual calculation than a perennial almanac. So, the oak rises in this year’s chill, tolerant for cold; akin.
Though the Holidays just days away, the Christmas tree in the corner of the living room is a plastic mass of dark green shadow. I could not bear to light up the strings, for LED luminosity was modern and failed to avail Hoosier traditions of raw, bursting light of youth. Tree farms were always happy places to feel the wet seep into the boots and to taste the evergreen pleasantness on the tongue while staggering between the rows of fat trees. So, the mass of green shadow...casts its plastic.
Although the New Year can plant the seed of hope and renewal, I stop wrapping this gift in gold and silver paper. I could not bear the thought of a lie in full faith outside my dining room window, beyond the anxious streets of Indianapolis. Gift sharing is never quite the same nowadays; more contractual and quid pro quo than promises of forever. So, the gift lay half-clothed in gold and silver paper, half dowsed in deception.