Landscapes of Identity: Thanksgiving

After a day of rain the morning greeted us with a golden sunrise. Jennie, who awoke in the night, said the moonless sky had been awash in stars. Now the wind, blowing briskly from the north, rustles the leaves that remain on the oaks and pushes choppy waves across the water.

I had intended to grab my camera and go out early while the sunlight retained a warm glow, even going so far as to ask whether others might wish to go with me. Now the light has turned a winter white, washing the color from the landscape. Between the flat light and the cold breeze I’ve lost the drive to actually be outside. Continue reading

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“Indian Summer”


After the frost, warmth returns. We are now in Indian Summer, that period between first frost and the true onset of winter. The name “Indian Summer” seems to be of contested origins. I was always told that the name came from the colonists’ observation that Native people intensified hunting and gathering during the quiet time leading up to winter. Subsistence practices in colder temperate climates require that as much food and wood be put away as possible before the freeze sets in, yet the simple fact that much food is perishable means that food must be stored as late in the season as possible. Indian summer is, therefore, one of the few uses of the term “Indian” that refers to our perseverance and foresight, rather than being derogatory. Continue reading