Before the Hard Frost

Volunteer weeds

A hard frost is coming. This is Iowa and it has usually been here by now. We wait.

Lilacs near the front door are beginning to bud, so it’s crazy warm. Rain is in the forecast, although chances seem slight. A dry spell would be better so the lawn can be mowed one last time. Outside my personal world, we could use more rain. We could also use a hard frost. I went walking on the state park trail since we had neither.

Determining where I left my autobiography this spring is not as easy as I thought it would be. I know where the major documents are located and the ideas I had for structure (sigh of relief!) yet things migrated elsewhere in the intervening months. The main trouble is when one has written consistently since 1974, and has access to much of that writing, it is hard to get through it to see where the narrative should go. These things don’t write themselves, I’m finding. At present I want it grounded in some kind of reality. That could change, yet not now.

Year two of this autobiographical writing will proceed differently. I must lay out a timeline and hang documents and artifacts on it. I accumulated stacks of three ring binders for the purpose. I wrote extensively about some key moments in my life, others come to mind frequently, and some I haven’t even touched. Need to organize, fill our the voids, and pare down repetition. If by spring I have a set of binders on a shelf with documents arranged in chronological order in them, this year’s writing will be deemed successful.

Friday was good. I have positive feelings about the coming weekend. We will make through winter again, I believe. On the other side awaits a new garden and fresh opportunity of the kind spring in the Northern Hemisphere can bring.

We anticipate the renewal which begins here and now. Yet first we want a hard frost.