Beauty, Destruction, Gore-Tex, and Coffee

Classes are cancelled today due to lack of hustle. Also because an ice storm hit Central Jersey last night. Trees are down, roads are icy. The only thing for it, of course, is to suit up and go for a walk in the woods.

I went to my normal stomping grounds, the Institute Woods, and spent an hour or so sludging through six inches of Snow Cone consistency slush.

On the 8th day God created Gore-Tex and it was very good. Good for boots, good for gators, good for rain jackets to keep post-ice storm drips out.

As I walked through the woods I thought deep thoughts about the strange intersection of beauty and destruction.  All around me trees were down. The cracked White Pines smelled like Christmas trees. The ice, like glass, glittered with beauty. This glassy ice weighed trees down to their doom, cracked them, broke them, and scattered them, in beauty, on the ground.

I thought some more about ice and beauty and destruction and Gore-Tex. Then I thought about being impaled by a falling tree branch. I guessed that such an occasion would not result in my mother thinking about the intersection of beauty and destruction.

I walked some more and thought about how in tune I was with the world, my sense of hearing heightened to the falling branches and ice, how sleek I was to dodge the falling debris. I sighed contentedly and looked up into the trees just in time to catch a chunk of falling ice right on my lower lip. Right on the kisser.

I picked up the missile that hit me and realized that my nemesis was also the balm to my hurt and held it to my bloody lip and thought, “hey man, that’s poetic.” Then I thought, “Geez, Nate, you’re getting overly corny, even for you. This whole line of thinking is just about as cliché as it gets. Why don’t you drop all this poetic nonsense and go home and have a hot cup of coffee?” It’s a good day for hot coffee.


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