“Up high, the flies are playing,
And frolicking, and swaying.
The frog thinks: Dance! I know
You’ll end up here below.”
Wilhelm Busch- (1832-1908)
One of my fondest childhood memories was ice-skating on a small rink my best friend’s dad built for us in her backyard. Round and round we would soar feeling the chill of the air on our cheeks. Not an iPhone or computer in sight. This year, to kick off the holiday season, I took my two sons to an ice rink near to us which overlooks the Long Island sound. They enjoyed two hours of skating until they could stand no more. Finally in physical defeat rather than want, they staggered off the ice with tired smiles and wobbly legs proclaiming “That was SO much fun…”
“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify by their own lonesome familiarity to this feeling.”
Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
A red sky at night sailor’s delight. A red sky morning, sailor’s warning.
Scooping up a tiny salamander with care.
Careful! I just got stitches.
“Each sunshine-moment twinkles by
A white-winged, wandering butterfly…”
~W.T., “Honeymoon Cottage,” Chambers’s Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Arts, 1862 June 28th
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” Hans Christian Andersen
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne
On the way down the front porch steps to fetch the morning paper I encounter a trail of pink petals, damp, fragrant and delicate. Compliments of our kindly dogwood tree, unable to hold onto their fleeting beauty during a fierce wind storm the night before.