MerrilyMerrilyMerrilyMerrily - Life Is But a Dream

It was the Monday of Thanksgiving week, and things have taken a turn for the colder. My husband and I put our blaze orange on and went for a bike ride to the gameland, and then a walk up the hill from there.

Along the way, we visited my favorite vernal pool. This is the closest little pond to me, and I can get there under my own power in 10 to 15 minutes. It is smaller than some of the other ponds, but it is perfect in its own way. It is a bringer of all kinds of magics.

My favorite kind of magic happens here in springtime, when a profusion of amphibians and reptiles show up. There are Penn State researchers who come here and set amphibian traps and then capture and document and study and release them. I have been there to see it, and it is very cool indeed! Rock on, researcher-peeps!

But the seasons are turning now, and even autumn is facing its end. There is one red tree still along the pond, but so many of the leaves are down. The photo above shows you the pond the way I saw it - still full of color and light, and leaves, gently floating on a mostly still surface.

We are approaching my birthday, and after that, another milestone: a year since I retired from doing good work that I was passionate about at Penn State. We are drawing near the end of the first year of true freedom I've had since I was five years old and trundled off to school on the bus!

These milestones are making me contemplative and wistful. I think back to the year behind us; and especially, to the ones we've loved who've stepped beyond the veil, the ones who await us in the Next Place. Best beloveds, we carry you with us in our hearts, until we meet again.

The darkness grows long, the days grow short. And I can't explain it, but - whoosh! - there went another year. Did you throw some love and goodwill out into the Universe? Did you experience some happiness? Did you eat something delicious? Did you have some fun? Did you make something beautiful? Did you keep your promises? Did you contribute something meaningful to the common good? Did you spend time with family and friends? Did you shed some tears?

I look at this pond which is liquid still, but not for long, and I think toward the coming cold and snow and ice. This pond will freeze up. The trees will all become bare, like rattling old bones. The year draws down to its close. The leaves are floating by and I can hear only one song, sung sweetly:

Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily
Life is but a dream

The soundtrack song is this one: Row Row Row Your Boat, sung by Kirk, Spock, and Bones, in the very last scene of Star Trek's The Final Frontier.

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