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Looking ahead

Before society can move forward, we need to develop a shared vision for the future
Photo: Swithun Crowe / cc2.0.

When I was a young boy, seemingly immune to my mother’s constant focus on all things neat and proper, I spent my summers mucking around in the swamp behind our house. As swamps go, ours was neither large nor particularly dangerous, boasting not one single crocodile, alligator, poisonous snake or patch of quicksand. To be absolutely candid it was a small swamp, and its most perilous (if you could call them that) denizens were snapping turtles and water snakes, either of which might decide to give you a nip if you happened to stick a finger or toe in the wrong place.

Despite winter, we fish

Undeterred by the frozen toes, numb feet and the stinging wind, we make our way to the water
Photo: NPS

Cold fingers sting back to life, pressed firmly against the vent as warm air, fresh from the engine block, puffs on pink digits. The heat reawakens icy toes, and what was numb is now just painful.

I gobble a sandwich. Cameron is lost in his phone. We don't speak. Not because there’s nothing to say. Our faces are frozen.

It's the wind, really. It's not terribly frigid out there, on the other side of the glass. But with a steady gale blowing up from the south and armed with a cleaver's edge, it feels cold. Bone cold.

Fighting fire with flies

Fly tyers look to replicate their fundraising success to help fund Australian bushfire relief
Smoke from bushfires obfuscates the sun and darkens the sky a deep red in New South Wales, Australia (photo: Rob Russel / cc2.0).

The power was out with no sign of returning as the conditions outside deteriorated. Dorian had left the entire Southeast wrought with worry as images out of The Bahamas left residents wondering where the historic storm would land next. Fortunately, we were never placed in harm’s way.

To a golden retriever

To them, she was as perfect as a dog could possibly be
Photo: G. Sawyer / cc 2.0.

As golden retrievers go she was utterly typical—even stereotypical. She lived in a middle-class suburban neighborhood: tree-lined streets, neatly clipped lawns, fenced backyards. She was a good-looking, athletic, robustly built dog, and while she wasn’t a hunter I have no doubt that given the right opportunities she would have made a splendid one. And I fancy that she gazed with something like longing at the flocks of mallards and Canada geese that frequently flew over, enroute to the nearby river.