The Year's Awakening
By Thomas Hardy
How do you know that the pilgrim track
Along the belting zodiac
Swept by the sun in his seeming rounds
Is traced by now to the Fishes’ bounds
And into the Ram, when weeks of cloud
Have wrapt the sky in a clammy shroud,
And never as yet a tinct of spring
Has shown in the Earth’s apparelling;
O vespering bird, how do you know,
How do you know?
How do you know, deep underground,
Hid in your bed from sight and sound,
Without a turn in temperature,
With weather life can scarce endure,
That light has won a fraction’s strength,
And day put on some moments’ length,
Whereof in merest rote will come,
Weeks hence, mild airs that do not numb;
O crocus root, how do you know,
How do you know?
It took me a long time to wake up on Wednesday -- after declaring that I was going to bed Tuesday night and not staying up into the wee hours for the election to be settled, I couldn't bear the suspense, and things only got more and more fantastic after midnight, as we learned that Obama had won Virginia and Maryland had legalized gay marriage and Romney was conceding before Florida tore into their provisional ballots -- but I was in a great mood all day despite being very sleepy. I went out to do a bit of shopping in case the snowstorm came this far south, which thankfully it has not, and everywhere I ran into people with wide grins talking about what a great night it was; in my county, at least, not just most of my friends but many random strangers were thrilled with the election results. I have only two major regrets (apart from the REALLY major regrets like the fact that climate change and capital punishment were not even discussed during the campaign): that California voted not to label GMO foods and that Michele Bachmann managed to win reelection.
The minor real life excitements of my day included discovering Sukhi's fantastic Indian vegan chili "chicken" at our new Fresh Market, finding lots of nice beads and charms at AC Moore's jewelry sale, and discovering that I had $14 in Hallmark coupons which I used to buy the Merida (from Brave) Christmas ornament which I will of course be using for something other than Christmas but she comes with her bow and arrow. Plus I got out to walk before the rain. In the evening after belatedly eating Guy Fawkes dinner and discussing Adam's schedule plans with him, we watched a public television special on Easter Island, then Nashville, a show where to my surprise the music is so good that soap opera storylines and occasional mediocre acting choices don't bother me. I still haven't really sorted through my National Arboretum photos from yesterday so here is this year's Scott's Run family photo, along with nearly a decade of previous photos:
Here is the 2011 version of the photo...
...and the 2010 version...
...and the 2009 version...
...and the 2008 version...
...and the 2007 version...
...and the 2006 version...
...and the 2005 version...
...and the 2004 version...
...and the 2003 version, in which I forgot to fix the settings so I got a blurry photo, but it inspired me to try to do it right the next year and then it became a point of comparison in terms of how tall everyone is.