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January 26, 2009

Peering through the bare branches of the restless treetops, I was unable to find Palemale & Lola's night roost on that bitterly cold Saturday evening.

I did find Venus though, gazing down at me with what I couldn’t help thinking was a pitiful stare. That intense ball of light sliced through the blackened branches as I walked along the slippery paths and searched patiently through the Eastside treetops for Palemale and Lola going to sleep.

"Aren’t you drifting a bit far from the Sun!" I said to her with hardly any remorse for my indignant tone. I thought of her and all her wisdom not considering in the least of offering me some guidance as I staggered under the heavy load on my shoulders picking my steps carefully along the narrow icy paths.

“On the contrary,” she answered in a voice which cut through the cold and wind though never departing from her well known gentle and caressing way. “the Sun is quite in my sight and well within my reach, so I don’t think I have drifted so much as you think” she continued.

I looked up at her and presently began to form my regret for addressing her with such a harsh tone. It was certainly unworthy of me.
“From where I stand I thought you had strayed and could not see the Sun.” I said.

“Ah, but from where I stand I see things quite differently from you” when she spoke I thought I saw a wink of an eye.
“I must confess that I became frustrated when I could not find my friends tonight, and looking up at you I thought surely you could see them and may have offered some guidance to me.”

“But my business is staying close to my Sun, a preoccupation which hardly affords any distraction to offer you or anyone else any guidance in finding lost friends." her voice sailed through the dark branches which appeared to gently scrape at the sky with what seemed to me like the soft scratch under the chin of a pet. I hardly expected such a niggardly attitude from the likes of Venus but I wasn’t prepared to swing my mood back so quickly.

“The sight of you through the bare branches recompensed for the disappointment of not seeing my friends tuck themselves in to sleep tonight.” I declared to my bright friend poised proudly in the heavens like a beacon over the Earth. “I am tempted also to tell you how wonderful it is to be graced with the sight of you to put a cap on what turned out to be such a fine sunny day in Central Park, by I fear I may further distract you from your preoccupation.” I declared to her in as gracious a tone as I could muster.

“Not at all,” She echoed softly down to me as I sat on a bench cloaked under many layers of warm clothing with barely my eyes exposed to the cold night air. “but why are you not able to find your friends’ night roost tonight?” Her question impressed me as genuine.

“I don’t know? I managed to keep them in sight all through the day but shortly after a determined eastbound dive I have yet to find where Palemale landed.” I answered.
“Perhaps you are drifting away from him.” she declared in a cold, passive tone. Whether or not it was her intention, her words mortified me. I had a flash of what an empty life I shall be plunged into without the closeness I feel for any of my little friends. My defensives rose like the frost on my breath as I gauged up a strong reply. But none came--the only thing that came out of my breath was the silent gray frost which curled and swayed and formed a veil before my eyes to dim only for a moment or two my sight of Venus standing prominent between the blackened branches which stood like children’s pencil scratches against the clear crisp sky.

I saw how puny my words were to get the better off Venus so I took refuge in silence. It was she who broke that silence,

“When a friend is kept sufficiently close he may sometimes wander from your eyes, but never from your heart.” She whispered and smiled, then I saw her turn and skip merrily toward the Sun. I didn’t even find it necessary to be apologetic for my uncalled for retort to that brilliant piece of wisdom perched high above the treetops, because she didn’t allow me to feel any other way but happy to be alive, awake and aware of the natural beauty of the world all around me.

In her merry skip toward the Sun I had a renewed joy of the many things I am presently blessed to find beautiful, and perhaps it was her doing or her skipping which reminded me that the things I presently find ugly are merely things which are a step or two away from attaining beauty just waiting for a little guidance and a little patience to make it up that last rung.

All images above photographed last weekend. Click any image above for 2009 archives.

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