Wintertime Among Neighbors

forgotten glove

My house had been one of the finest. And my neighbors’ houses, they had been fine ones too. And all about us the Eastern White Pines grew tall. Except for once, or perhaps twice a year, we never saw each other. Each of us, we all lived alone in our houses completely occupied with our work at hand. There were a number of trades, and a number of professions, and a number of arts with which we all were occupied for the better part of the year. Then, once a year, or as I have said, sometimes twice, we would up-gather ourselves, and meet in an open field where no trees ever grew. Salads, and spicy dishes, and crumbling crusted deserts were laid out on folding tables. And while none of us could ever remember speaking, all of us would always remember listening to our neighbors this one day (or twice) a year. The field had been freshly mown, and all of us could realize on this day how lucky we all were to live nearby in the same forested neighborhood. We would make plans with each other to meet during the intervening months. For to visit each other’s workshops, to walk about each other’s studios, to thumb our fingers through another’s library, or to just walk through another’s hay-strewn stable, was what we all had wanted in earnest to do. It was almost over a decade since any of us realized that the field which had been once mown was now overgrown. In it were tiny saplings, the same pine as which made up the rest of the forest that had by then completely enclosed us.

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