Winter's chill coming on

October 07, 2001|By Dick George

A SUNDAY'S first chill of autumn brings with it a subtle hint of the cold winter ahead.

The usual fall chores call from every direction. Shutters need repair. There's caulking to do. The lawn is a mess; maybe with some fresh seed it can be resuscitated.

The light this day is low and strong. There is clarity to the eye, if not the mind. Every pass by the TV brings searing images, loud voices, pundits projecting the coming hostilities. They sound like the networks promoting a new series.

Has it been like this before every war? Are there always those who seem so eager? So fixed on revenge -- not thinking much about the logistical and human challenges ahead?

Maybe we have put off for too long tending our global yard. Maybe we let some undesirable species grow deep and wide; maybe we hastened their growth with poor decisions or bad policy. We could not have known their bloom could be so deadly. And now we have a lot of work to do.

Everyone seems ready to pitch in. How American. Unity, despite the world's greatest diversity. Where else could it happen but here?

As I drag overflowing trash bags out to the curb, already I am longing for the old news -- of partisan bickering on this bill or that; of the president talking to school kids or plugging his energy policy; of another politician caught with his pants down, I am nostalgic for normal news -- the kind we used to have.

I spend the day raking, cutting, hauling, fixing. The old place takes a lot of tending this time of year. I think we're in good shape for the winter.

I sure hope so.

Dick George is a writer who lives in Baldwin.

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