his house is in the village though


High in the Taconic range of the Hudson Valley, the last one awake in the house, with the blasting wind embedding needles of ice into the side of the ancient farmhouse. Chimneys, the attic, or the house as a whole is making a slow, medium-pitched whine from the gusts that make little pieces of paper shudder on nightstands and book tables.

These are the last three weeks of the longest nights, the pitch-blackness that tests your mettle, asks if you think you can get through the winter. St. Lucy’s day, evolved from the Scandinavian goddess who might bring light back from the night, is still a fortnight away. There is no snow to illuminate your path, the moon is hidden behind miles of clouds, and family hunkers together in a mystical, worried celebration, subdued by early fatigue and a weak sun.

Those months ago, when you put in that extra nail, when you made sure the beam was steadfast, when you spent an extra minute on that project in the unending sun of a hot, languid afternoon, you might have saved yourself tonight. A little seam, that one stitch, will keep it all together when the winds come. You can probably rest easy tonight, even hibernate. Save your strength, as it has always saved you.

0 thoughts on “his house is in the village though

  1. kevin from NC

    Thanks Ian,
    Look to the southwest sky tonight just after sunset to see an almost perfect alignment of Jupiter and Venus with a very nice crescent moon thrown in for extra measure.
    This is a once in a lifetime alignment tonight (save for someone like Lucy) so maybe night sky can offer some glimmer of light for these next days.

  2. Alan

    Our old farmhouse rocked with the hurricane force winds on PEI. The drafts and shiftings are how these buildings lasted to become old farmhouses, rocking those inside to sleep like a ship on the wind.

  3. kazoo

    ahhhh. that was so delicious. exactly the way i like to experience the bitter cold, from afar, in the blanket of poetry or nostalgia. having just returned from boston, where a balmy 23 degrees greeted me off the plane, i’m happy enjoying your chill from foggy LA…stay warm. hugs to you all!


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