Charlotte has saved Wilbur's life. She knows he will live to enjoy many autumns, winters, springs, and summers. The last chapters of Charlotte's Web describe Wilbur's first winter and the arrival of spring, with its sparrows and frogs and warm winds. The lovely world and precious days.
Spring has arrived in the Upper Peninsula, I think. Yesterday, the temperatures hit almost 50 degrees. Today was another story. In the morning, fat snowflakes fell. In the afternoon, it was icy rain. Tonight, fog. Thick fog. I just heard a bird calling outside. A high chee-chee-chee-chee-cheeeee. It's going to be cold tomorrow and the next few days, but there are streams in the street, grass in the front yard, and mud. Lots of mud. Winter is slowly leaving.
In the last few weeks, I have fallen into the habit of watching travel shows on PBS. I've seen tours of Florence, Rome, and Oslo. Watched someone climb the Matterhorn. Sailed in the East Indies with another person. It's strange. I've never been that interested in traveling to foreign countries before. But the museums, art, scenery--all of it--has really taken root in me for some reason. Maybe it's because I know I will never get the chance to see these places in person.
That's probably why I've chosen the following poem by Ted Kooser to share with you this evening:
Flying at Night
Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.
There's a full moon shining down on my house tonight, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan of the United States of America on the continent of North America in the Western Hemisphere of the planet Earth in the Solar System of the Milky Way Galaxy of the Mind of God.
Yes, Saint Marty just plagiarized Thornton Wilder's Our Town.
Confessions of Saint Marty