Merry Christmas 2022


Birds gather in the backyard before a storm. December 2022. Photo by me.


The other morning I looked out on the front lawn and much to my surprise was a large buck eating the red winter berries. The deer was taller than me and muscular. I have seen many deer in my life, but this deer was the biggest I had ever seen. Unfortunately, I spooked it as I opened the front door to take a photo and it ran away.


I was twenty when I first read Thoreau's Walden. It was appealing to me at that age and where my head was then. A life in solitude among nature seemed the ideal. I lived similarly growing up and into my early twenties. It was impractical in some ways and unhealthy in others, but I was present among society enough with work, school and life that I was not in complete isolation. As it turns out, Thoreau was also not living in isolation either as he did leave Walden to enjoy the company of others and to take trips into town.


That life, in isolation, was beneficial too as it made me self-reliant on my own company, disciplined, strengthened my concentration skills and provided plenty of time for my thoughts and whims without distraction. I had my much-valued privacy too.

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations."

-Henry David Thoreau

I lost my copy of Walden almost twenty years ago in a flooded basement. Nature, by way of a tropical storm, came for my copy and most of my book collection that I had amassed through my life at that time. Gone too were the leather bound copies of Great Expectations, Leaves of Grass and other books that I cherished. I spent a fair amount of money on books that dated back to the late 1800s. I would not have called myself a collector, but a semi-serious one.


Thursday, I ordered a new hardback copy of Walden as I desired to read it again in my hands. My library smaller than it was, grows again. I want to read Walden again in a comfortable chair, in my backyard, on a rock in the woods or wherever I choose. 

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives with in us. -Henry David Thoreau

Living outside the city again, on a hill, over a river and through the woods I have my solitude and my head returns to where it was nearly thirty years ago. Gone are the years of thundering nights on the dancefloor under a mirrorball, the parties until nine in the morning and all of the glitz and decadence - I regret none of that as I do not regret the quieter life now.  It was one fabulous experience that had its place, purpose and time.

Raking leaves. December 2022. Photo by me.

I cherish my peace at my own Walden more than any book in hand or on a shelf. I rake my birch, water oak and maple leaves (there's not a single pine on my property), enjoy the smell of them and the manual labor. It is one way of many to enjoy the season. 

The Christmas tree at my house. Photo by me December 2022.

This winter, I am writing the first draft of my next novel. I am also thinking over my poetry book which contains my poems from the 1990s. I am hesitant about publishing them due to their nature, but I may come spring. If you would like to know when I publish my next book, you may subscribe to my mailing list (I do not spam, sell or share my subscriber information).

Thank you for reading.

Me at my grandparent's Christmas party at their New Hope house in the 1980s.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays.