In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Goodbye Orion

Since I only know a few constellations, I notice when one of them disappears. A bit earlier each night now, Orion slowly slips away below the western horizon. By midnight he is gone. Just after our last frost date, in May, he will have travelled out of sight completely. Orion is a migratory constellation, cartwheeling south as the hummingbirds and monarch butterflies and songbirds are flying north. I imagine their greeting as they pass each other in the sky: birds and butterflies dipping their wings in tiny salute, Orion silently pointing their way northward.   

I miss Orion already. I love the way he dances across the cold night sky. I step outside the breezeway door on a clear night and think I must be peering over the very edge of the universe. Familiar Orion helps me focus on what I can recognize in that vastness, and helps keep my primal fears in check. I think he has been doing that for people for a long, long time.  We can let him go for a while, in warmer seasons, when we are naturally braver and more at ease.

Odd and topsy-turvey as it seems to me, Orion's gradual departure is a sign of spring.  And he will return, this magnificent figure, next winter. 

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