Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Leaving for another business meeting in Tuscaloosa today, and will return tomorrow. I suppose I do not mind as much this time around, knowing what is in store -- namely, free meals and free Guinness. Whatever else his shortcomings may be, our company owner/CEO knows how to entertain the troops.

My great-aunt died last week, my grandmother's older sister. She was 92. What a vibrant, strong, forceful woman she was! I had not seen her in almost 20 years, I think, and I did not go to the funeral. Two funerals in six months was enough.

It is an odd feeling now, looking ahead to a springtime minus an aunt, a grandmother, and a great-aunt. There is a strong feeling, mostly unspoken, among my family that there has been a slow generational shift, a turning of a wheel, a turning of a page in our family book somewhere. It is not a bad feeling, just odd. Now it is our parents -- mine and Adrienne's -- who are patriarchs and matriarchs, and it is to us that guidance is looked for more and more.

But the sycamores and cypresses and maples are planted. Soon my Naith will be green with life again, and Belle and I can watch it transform together. Meanwhile, the RT's -- the red-tailed hawks -- have disappeared: nesting. The mews needs building. This may be the year that, at long last, I yield myself up to the hawk.

Whatever else may happen, all is right in the world.

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"