Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I walk nearly every day at the nearby park and the small pond there is my greatest reward. I remember when they dug it some years back, how the grass was peeled back and the pond sunk deeper and deeper. It was properly sited; it belongs where it is.

I wonder what Winter Zero Swartsel would have thought of this pond, near where his farmhouse stood, probably beneath where a number of his beloved bottles hung. Winter would hang the bottles on fence posts or drive stakes in the ground to hand his enormous collection of bottles.
Though it might have impressed some as a junk yard where a farm should be, I imagine the bottles and their dazzling sparkles in the sunlight and muted tones in the wind, must have presented a sensual feast to his eyes and ears.
The bottles are gone - along with Zero and the whole of the farm - but this pond stands at the site and offers other pleasures. The pond is my reward for walking.
I might drop behind the shadow of the pines and sense the immediately cooler air. Or I might look down at its calm surface and see up into the clouds. What a feat that is, like looking forward and seeing the back of your own head.
Though I have only a share in its ownership - being a resident of Jackson Twp. - I feel the whole thing is mine while I am there alone. Isn't this a wonderful gift Winter gave us? And it was wholly unseen by him. The parcel of land is the same, knows the same bounds and yet it is not dry farmland, not stubble of corn nor even seedling bottles.
Every age sees the past in the present. And yet the future is no more than hazy imagination.