Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dying of the light . . .

Locust Blossoms at Night
Photo by Delana Epperson
KAIT 8 abc

I love Verlyn Klinkenborg's nature writing, so this morning will be dedicated to a passage from his recent Rural Life editorial, "Locust Moon" (New York Times, June 14, 2013), which is not about lunatic grasshoppers:
Black locusts spread invasively. They shatter and shed large limbs. They seam the ground with latticed rhizomes. They have thorns and, in shape, aren't especially graceful. Trying to kill them is like trying to kill sagebrush or mesquite. But the wood is dense and lasts forever; I cherish my locust fence posts. And when the moon is dark, the sky is missing, and even the fireflies appear fainthearted, you can still make out the dim, refracted glow of locust blossoms in the night.
I sometimes think the best writing is always about death, or of the brevity of all things. Fireflies glow but an instant, a brief shining extinguished. Black locust lasts forever, but only relatively so. The moon goes round and round and round and round, like an abstract entity circumambulating our charm├ęd earth . . . but one day won't.

And even the laws of nature will meet their demise in the heat death of an endlessly expanding universe . . . or the singularity of a collapsing cosmos.

Think of all this, next time you glimpse the flash of a firefly in the night . . .

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