Before going too far down this low road, I decided to focus instead on the little things in life--minutia, perhaps, or maybe the only things that really matter. Things like:
and the wooden leaf-shaped bowl I found in the basement all covered in dust, which I cleaned up to hold all the bits of fall we've been collecting for our centerpiece,
and those bits of fall. Fall is arguably the best season for collecting little bits of nature. I found these crazy acorns near my office. C (who is a tree geek on the side) identified them as "mossy cup" (not to be confused with "mossy oak" the camouflage pattern ubiquitous in these parts). It's actually an endemic species around here, so I plan on planting a few on our land (which I should probably hurry up and do, as the ground is freezing up quick). I found some conkers, which may be buckeyes or horsechestnuts (or they may all be the same thing; I haven't set the tree guy to work on those yet) and a quince on a walk in Hallowell with a friend. The big oak leaves are from the mossy cup and the red maple ones I pick up when walking around the campus at work (oddly, we don't have many maples on our five acres). The gourds I bought, so they don't count as "finds" but they are so funky and fun and they seem to last forever (though one day in December I'll pick one up to find it rotten through).
and spooks, of course.
On Sunday morning, before the Halloween rush, I planted a few dozen flower bulbs that I bought in an overly-enthusiastic school fundraiser spending spree. As I dug the icy ground and placed four precious hyacinth bulbs in the cold mud (with no good reason to believe that hyacinths can even live in this climate), I had the thought, "I can't wait till spring." Not exactly the right attitude for Halloween morning, with spring 4 1/2 months away on the calendar, and another month or more in the future, weather-wise.
So my new perspective, both in response to politics and winter, is to slow down, pay attention, focus on what is here and now before me. Stop. Look. Listen. Breathe. Enjoy.
What other choice is there?