an introduction (post will remain unwritten for now. feel free to imagine).




I grew up in rural Vermont on a dirt road..  in a part of the world where the changing of seasons is dramatic, and in a part of town where snowfall in the winter, and mud in the spring made a real difference in life.  In the dark part of the year (NOW), the sun would be low on the horizon as school let out and at least a couple of times each winter we’d have to carry the groceries the last half mile or so home, because the roads were impassible.  The fall, the first semester of school, always felt like a count down to christmas vacation.  A strange paradox.  Simultaneously depressing in the shortening of the days and the increasing cold, and exciting and beautiful, first in the glory of the fall, and then in the anticipation of snow and the snow days and sledding and skiing that came with it – a long winter vacation – my birthday (a week from yesterday..  I’ll be 40!) – christmas – new year’s eve.

For whatever reason, I always loved this time of year.  I relished the darkening of the world, I think mostly because of the things that we’d do to fend it off!  A cozy evening by the fireplace can only exist if it is horrible and dark and wet and cold outside.  Those short days would bring out a kind of closeness between people that didn’t exist in the warm parts of the year with those long days, when pick up soccer games started at 5 in the afternoon because there were still 4 hours of daylight left.

The birthdays in my family are laid out like a trail of breadcrumbs leading to that darkest time of the year, starting with Zach’s in late late July, my mom’s in September, Mary and Thomas’ in October and November respectively, (thanksgiving tucked in there.. always my favorite), and then my own and Special Ed’s just three days apart on the 18th and 21st of December (Ed’s falling, in fact, ON that shortest day).  Then there was christmas, which we DID continue to celebrate with the exchange of gifts until Thomas and Mary were grown and the family was more or less scattered around the globe and rarely all together at that time of year.  But growing up, it was something to look forward to!

All this to say that for me the fall, leading into the dark time of the year, was always an exciting build up, mimicking in the inverse the darkening of the days,  to that climax that was my birthday/the solstice/christmas (and then, of course, new year’s eve..  that last gasp.. a party for those who weren’t quite ready to stop celebrating.. coincidentally my dad, Bill Sam’s birthday).  But after that, it was really over.



In other important news:!  I guess it’s time to sell those fast boy swifts!

It strikes me that these things will make a really fabulous holiday gift (for yourself or someone else) and that it would be helpful of me to sell them in time that they might ship in time to make it to you for christmas.

SO.  I will work on the sale page for these this afternoon, and I’ll put them on sale sometime tomorrow morning.  Watch here and on faceplace for a link to the page.

41 Responses to “an introduction (post will remain unwritten for now. feel free to imagine).”

  1. Heidi

    Beautiful tribute to the season. Love this line so much: “I relished the darkening of the world, I think mostly because of the things that we’d do to fend it off!” Keep on!

  2. keith wikle

    Ha, we have the same birthday.

    My whole family has birthdays within days of each other in December.

  3. tom

    “I relished the darkening of the world”…beautiful and poetic. Reminded me of this….

    “..these woods are lovely, dark and deep
    but I have promises to keep
    and miles to go before I sleep
    and miles to go before I sleep..”

  4. Amy

    I gasped when I read the title. Skipped ahead. Missed words. Tried to read it again. Scrolled down to the bottom. Okay. I can read this. <3

  5. Elaine

    Another eloquent blog post by a wonderful human being.I love reading your prose.

  6. Laurie

    love the words. big love to you this month.

  7. Holly

    “I relished the darkening of the world, I think mostly because of the things that we’d do to fend it off!” — The Danish have a way of dealing with that– “hygge”:

    My birthday is also on the 21st. This will be my 48th. Light and love to you on your 40th, Ezra.

  8. jenny from across the pond

    🙂 Hey Ezra.

    I have a winter birthday too. New Years Day. Hours after ‘those who weren’t quite ready to stop celebrating’…just became ready!

    Lovely to hear from you, as always.


  9. Rhonda

    Great words come from great minds.
    Greater words come from great hearts!
    Peace be with you and yours

  10. Joanna.

    Beautiful little story. I like the idea of taking one topic or thought from the day and expanding upon in in glorious detail. Feels like you did just that with darkness.

    I don’t appreciate the dark and cold but I will try to because of the closeness, the fires, what we don’t do in the summer. Inspiring!

  11. Linda

    Have been thinking about and praying for you.

  12. Linnea Duff

    Ezra–wherever/however you may be, my heart is beating fast and will not slow. Just….love forever.


  13. Stephanie

    Beautiful words. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and a very Merry Christmas.

  14. Andrea Graves

    Hi Ezra. You can really write. Trail of breadcrumb birthdays! Wow, you blow me away. Happy Birthday for next week.

  15. Mark

    That’s quite a self-portrait. So many expressions in one. I’d swear there is a smile in there somewhere, even though your lips are perfectly straight.

  16. Jess

    Ezra, I think of you daily. Beautiful post. Sending light and love.

  17. piotr

    my birthday is December 15:-)

  18. Green Monkey

    how are you doing Ezra, I also think of you daily. I have so many questions that I’m afraid to ask. I’m hating the chemo, and it especially sucks doing it solo.

    Most of my family lives in Vermont but we are a classic dysfunctional family, none of them communicate with me now – even with my cancer. Love suckers they are. I got my father, who died in January of 2012, and my mom got the rest of my siblings. Even so, my favorite xmas was spent in Vermont, back when my oldest sister had a B&B. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed the cold (especially now on oxaliplatin) or the snow…. but yes, a fire is lovely.

    your writing always moves me. this time it brought back sweet memories. thank you for that.

    happy, cozy warm, truly loved birthday ~ Shannon

  19. Bob Bonn

    Such beautiful prose from a beautiful person. Merry Christmas and God Bless

  20. Colleen

    Such a great portrait, too!

  21. Clarissa Thorne

    Lovely description that I appreciate well, having a birthday myself on Dec. 20th. (I’ll be 42 this year!) I spent my winter days and nights in the mountains of Arizona, where the appreciation of cold weather and snow was heightened by the extremes of the surrounding desert. My birthday was always lumped in with the overall family Christmas celebration, which served to make the experience better, I think. I came to feel that snow and all the coziness that goes with it were my own particular domain.

    Happy Birthday!

  22. Jt

    Happy everything Ezra! Beautiful words!

  23. joni

    I dunno, I think January is pretty great.

    Lots of great things goin on in January. National Bubble Bath Day = Jan 8th. That’s a thing and it’s pretty great. Every day you wake up to a minute or two more of daylight. Magic. MANDARINS. Best mandarins of the year are always sold in January. Everybody knows that. I never get to New Years and feel like, “Okay finally it’s all over.” No way. I’m all, “Hello January! I’ve missed you! Let’s go cruise for citrus! Let’s go up on the roof and watch the sunset at 4:50! FOUR FIFTY! We couldn’t do that in December. No sir. Mmmwah! January! You’re magic!”

    Ya feel me?

  24. joni

    ps: always good to see your face:) thx

  25. Vanessa

    I’ve missed your voice and think of you often. All my love!

  26. SlowPokePete

    Today’s my 49th birthday.

    Thank you for the gift of your words.


  27. Anthony

    Wonderful to learn a little more about you in such a way.. really brought forth imagery to my mind’s eye. Well written. Looking forward to the rest of it!

    Very excited for those Swifts, too. I’ll have to stay up all night to make sure I don’t miss it! (I live in Australia)

  28. Cyclin' Missy

    Happy upcoming birthday! Mine is December 20th, so we share a lot of the time-of-year mixed emotions. 🙂

  29. Chris28mm

    Happy Birthday Ezra! Us December babies have to stick together don’t you know!

  30. Alicia

    That was one of your most intense and beautiful posts.

    “…but after that, it was really over.”

    I feel the heaviness of those words, and my greatest wish for you today is that 2014 is graced with your presence, with your zeal, with your life.

    Big love


  31. Sark

    I am a winterboy too Ezra.
    Feel that what u write.

    Liebe Grüße aus Stuttgart.


  32. Ben

    Peaceful Journey Friend…Peaceful Journey

  33. Sallylab

    After the serious weight of your words, will I be the only one to say it? Okay, I guess I will be… I LOVE your hair. The dippity-do in the middle and your fabulous eyebrows. Your face is serious. Your eyes are the window to your soul. And your hair makes me smile and smile. You’re a beautiful person, Ezra. Inside and out.

    Also, wanted to say that I have one of your prints. One with Putney on the sand near a bucket and a shovel. I think of Putney as the one true witness of pure unconditional puppy love to everything. Dogs have a way of being that in our lives. They are silent, faithful witnesses grounding us to the very moment we are in right now. I use to think that on Christmas Eve the animals would talk, but it never happened. I’ve since learned that it doesn’t matter. Words aren’t necessary.

    So from one December birthday to another, and one dog lover to another, I wish you peace, love and more love.

  34. Charles Boyd

    Ezra, great portrait, great post – really nice to still have you here on earth. Best thoughts for both you and Hill. Love.

  35. Laura

    I also have a December birthday. You are lovely and so is your writing.

  36. kay

    happy december days and mountains of peace!

  37. trudi

    Hey Ezra, Dec. 18th is John’s birthday too. Birthday pals are special. You are special. Finding light in this dark time of the year.

  38. Christine Makris

    Hello Ezra,

    You don’t know me…I found my way to you through my dear friend Dave who was recently diagnosed with stage III cancer living in his throat/neck/lymph nodes. I’m a Vermonter too (not truly but for almost 15 years)…I’m in So. Reading. I have a small vineyard, do a bit of sugaring (just started) and love my 100 yr old house on a hill. Where are you? I’m a cyclist…it’s always been my cross train when I could run. Now it’s my main summer fun. I ride mostly in the upper valley but belong to a team in MA (Dave is our team captain, you probably know him? Hard to say from his posts). I haven’t done much mountain biking but when I do, I LOVE it. It’s such a rush.

    Anyhow, I read this post and it touched something in me…I just wanted to let you know. Again, I don’t know you but you seem like a truly beautiful soul. I wish for you continued happiness and joy …. a minimum of dark days …. as you find your way going forward.

    Happy 40th….

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