After Rain, Approaching Solistice
“I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief . . . for a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” — Wendell Berry
December, Something Lit
Night. A loose bead of light in the garden, bright, then dim, bright again in the mulch, a pulse. Another dark morning, it’s there on the deck, too.
The beam of a flashlight finds a glowworm, a larva, homely and gone dull in artificial glare, consuming the golden gel, still as ice, of a banana slug.
I don’t know what illuminates a glowworm, chemicals I’ve read, but maybe it’s only desire.
I’m at that time of life where something is always flaring or extinguishing.
I bring a fir into the house, trunk cut and sappy, feed it tapwater, twist silver and gold into its branches. I’ve done this many times. Now so happy to be doing it again. Now so happy because I may not do it again.
There is light and hunger all around us that we never see.
There is also the glistening path slicking leaves, gumming ferns, up the trellis, winding below the threshold we step through each day, life proving itself over and over. I used to have antennae, I might have climbed that tree.