It is crazy sometimes how there is so much beauty in such menace.
The papery sheaths of dog-strangling vine seedpods and their delicate twisting stems strike such a beautiful silhouette against the snow.
But, honestly, it is not even mid-January and the crusty, icy and treacherous trails that Skye and I walk are not fit for human or beast.
A youthful dog might prance and pounce through this awful mess of a winter, but it is slow going if you’re 11 1/2. And a dog, that is.
It is now well past Twelfth Night and we are finally taking down the Christmas tree. It is funny how Christmas is now a ‘dirty’ word. When I was in retail, there was little mention of it, only the ‘holidays’. I remember as a young girl, being sent on my way after a night of baby-sitting at a neighbour’s house. I said politely upon leaving, “Merry Christmas”, only to hear in reply that they didn’t celebrate Christmas. Didn’t celebrate Christmas? How can that be? Didn’t everyone celebrate Christmas?
Apparently not if you’re a devout Jew is what I learnt. And I also learnt much later, as I was a well-insulated WASP child, that Christianity and Judaism aren’t the only faiths.
Out recently with an old (Jewish) friend I said, ‘Really, what makes us so different in terms of faith?’ — that is, if I were a true Christian. She replied with a laugh, ‘Jesus’.
I have always been curious about my inherited, if not embraced, faith in a historical sense, as well as the figures that take centre stage in it. In my case, Jesus, his followers as well as those who are said to have written the New Testament. Did they really exist as we think they did? How true are the ‘Jesus stories’? What is symbol and what is historical truth?
It is interesting to me how history has unfolded largely within the rigid structure of religion — with the skills needed for learning and self-awareness not shared beyond the monastery wall. I thought of that when we visited several plantations on our trip through the southern states two years ago. The haves and the have-nots.