If I string a set of lights along the eaves out on the deck I will know if and when the power goes out. The little unit right outside the kitchen door will shut down without warning if just a single drop of moisture gets into the box or into one of the three socket joints which I have covered in electrical tape just for this reason. It won’t reset until it is completely dry. The heater, the pump and a small spotlight are all hooked up to this box and all that is needed, but most especially the heater. This a a must if the fish are to stay alive over the winter. And the lights are reminders of so many things.

They remind me about the pond which is for the most part out of sight, out of mind, and even more striking, just how early it gets dark. I am surprised every time I walk into the room and my spirits are raised just for a moment. As darkness descends for the winter late every afternoon,  they are also a beacon of hope, reminding me that every day we are closer to spring. Then I begin to count the days and the minutes until the days begin to lengthen again. Darkness can also become a state of mind if you let it and that’s easy to do. The lights are just a state of awareness.

Dahlia bulbs are safe and sound in a bag in a small cooler to prevent the mice from feasting on them over the winter. I had plenty of help digging them –tillie thought it was all about her and all that dark and smelly soil was irresistible. The last time I was given a gift of bulbs and left them in a bag on a shelf in the garage, they mysteriously disappeared.


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