The Tragic Optimist

human again

My head is clearer, I think I’ve rounded the corner on this cold. Zoe slept through the night and woke up singing.

About half of the vanpool commute runs through rural farmland.  I love the rolling hills and fields of this landscape, but this time of year is usually not so beautiful.  The trees are bare, the fields are empty, with just the dried husks of the harvest, the grasses are dried and brown.  If there is any snow it’s just in sad little patches here and there.  This is the time of year that I pray for more snow.  For the snow that stays after it falls.  Bare trees and empty fields look so much cleaner and brighter when covered in a nice blanket of white snow.  But today there was frost on the grass and the fields.  Each blade of grass was outlined in frost, each curled leaf, each dried seed head.  With the low sun, the hillsides sparkled.   It was the sort of vision to make me long for a camera, even though I know full well that a camera would never capture it.  By now, the frost is certainly gone.

Classes and exams are done here at work, so the students are gone and the library is quiet.  It’s a time to catch up on projects that we push off during the school year.  Time that we can focus fully on one thing at a time – I’m not always the most productive in that environment, I like interruptions, but I’m looking forward to the change of pace.

My coffee is half finished, and the rest is still warm.  I think it may be a good day.



  1. I miss MN days when the frost rimes the leaves and stalks and branches; I don’t miss the slushy afternoons, though. It’s foggy here in San Fran (my view is through my manager’s office and out the window to the Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island, and everything is veiled. It’s rather beautiful, but makes me want to be home wrapped in a blanket – just the same feeling I used to get on those days when I knew it would be snowing by afternoon. Maybe this January there will be snow instead of the worst cold snap of the year 🙂 Can’t wait to see you. I’ll be there MLK weekend.

  2. yay for good days! that sounds like a beautiful way to wake up 🙂

  3. Snow? Bah! If we get snow here in the South, it’s either just enough to make everything wet and slushy (because it melts the same day it falls) or it’s a blizzard (2+ inches) and shuts down the cities.

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