Happy Birthday Emily!

Well, it’s Emily Dickinson’s birthday today.  She’s getting on towards two hundred, and doesn’t look a day over 17.  Of course, that”s because the only photograph of her was taken when she was 17.  Can you imagine living with only one extant photo of you?  You’d kind of hope you weren’t having a bad hair day when it was taken, or a pimple or anything.  Apparently Emily was just getting over an  illness, and was looking unusually thin.  That’s what her sister said.  But unusual or not, the whole world now imagines her that way.

It almost seems intrusive, the fact that the world imagines her at all.  Almost as if the force of it might work its way into the past and disrupt her solitude.    What right do we have to be imagining her?  Or reading biographies of her?  Reading her letters to her brother, even when the post script says please to keep it confidential?  What do we think we’re doing?  On behalf of all of us, I apologize, Emily.

There was no school today.  Not in honor of Emily Dickinson.  It’s a budget reduction day.  A delicious day at home that would otherwise have been at school.  And our neighbor looked through our house and still seems very interested in buying it.  That’s good.  And while walking with Joseph over to his friend’s house, I noticed some other bulbs putting up green already.  My daffodil isn’t alone.  It’s an unusually warm December this year.  I wonder what that will mean for the plants?

For now at least, it means that there is a gentleness in the air, an invitation to grow.  Our borage and poppies and a few other things have almost bloomed for a second time.  It feels as if winter will spare us this year, will roll past with a nod and let Spring come early.  Either that or it’s just luring us in for the kill.




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