A remarkable number of half-finished entries over the past six months, a reluctance to hit the "post" button, and unfamiliarity with the mix and jumble of words that spill out when I start typing. Moving, I think, is like pruning. While my roots and foundation remain intact (to clone two unwieldy metaphors), much of the outward expression of how I represent place has been shorn back, clipped to the trunk. At first glance, there's not much visible difference between a pruned vine and a dead one, only the hope that it will send new growth out once again.
Despite this dormancy, I continue to eat, cook, and think about food. Everything is slower, maybe like a trout in a cold stream in Vermont, or the apple tree in my neighbor's yard, a few unfallen fruits frozen in place. Maybe terroir - the expression of place - has more to do with a plant's dormancy than its growing period. Perhaps in the cold grey of February apple trees absorb the still-earth they rest in, and - without even a bud to dream of - gain the characteristics of the Champlain valley. The summer sun shines equally on all, but in the cold, quiet earth of February, next year's harvest is already taking shape, framing its profile as cold snaps and rain storms rearrange our expectations about what will flourish next.
That which thrived last year, grew when nothing else did, still must be pruned back. May, the bursting forth of new life, depends on January, February. So, too, do my words. For now, I am still
in winter's hold.
birch and grasses alone on the snow, grey sky indistinguishable. the flat world falls into the edge of time, lifeless, dull wedge of horizon and soundless ...