There is comfort in the contours of a dog’s paw. The rough pads, separated by soft tufts of fur, curved to fit each other like matched puzzle pieces or continental plates. The dog flying effortlessly across an ice-glazed trail, the rhythmic clicking of nails on wood floors, the four paws collected in a bouquet bundle when he naps.
The flickery glow of the wood stove is an obvious comfort, both mentally and physically. All day long this week, I’m orbiting around that metal box, sticking as close as I can without scorching myself, feeding it stick after stick. The splinters are less comforting, but the price we pay.
A full hay barn, like a full wood pile, heating oil tank, or bank account, is a comfort. A worry deferred.
The pile of books to read is a comfort. A barrier against the dark and the cold, a plan for the long nights, anticipated escapes to others’ imaginations.
The moon, just beyond arm’s reach, neighborly yet remote, is a great comfort. You know I prefer light and warmth, but all the same, it’s hard to gaze lovingly at the sun. The moon, though, you can take it in, watch its phases, and realize, sometimes gradually, sometimes with a jolt, that you are not alone.
We here, riding this lush rock, are billions among billions, though all we generally see of our nearest neighbors are pinpricks of light on black velvet nights. The moon, though, constant companion, tells us we are in context of something else, and multitudes of something elses in this galaxy and the next and the next and the next.
It’s a comfort to find yourself in company on a long dark night.
And then to realize that all you know and have known, all you have loved, is contained here on this ball of dirt and rock and water. Everything you’ve read or seen. Every hand you’ve held. Every heart that has broken yours. Every note of every song you sang to yourself on your most miserable or most elated days. Everyone you’ve lost. It’s all here, conserved, blue and gauzy when beheld from the moon.
Last week, our friend Clyde made sugar on snow for an audience of children and me. I’d never seen it made before. I’d read about it, so I thought I knew what it was. But as she boiled the maple syrup, then drizzled it, gentle spoonful by gentle spoonful, onto the fresh collected snow, I knew I had no idea about this little alchemy. The way the syrup solidified, filigreed on the snow, the way the children, then I, dipped our forks in, spun them like spaghetti eaters, lifted the golden candy with flecks of snow to the light, swallowed the sweetness.
I have no idea what in the world I don’t know. And this, too, is a comfort.
These photos and post are in response to this week’s theme for the 52 Photos Project. You should participate, too! Read about how it works here. You can see a gallery of everyone’s photos for this week’s theme here. To see a list of all my blog posts for this project, go here.