|Back home with snow to shovel|
|Branches bearing snow burden|
I do say that some people’s knack is for the Here. Anyhow, that’s the talent I’m stuck with. For us it’s important to keep in mind who Tom was. And for Mat and them I judge it’s important to know who is meant when they speak of Virgil. We don’t forget them after somebody who never knew them has said “Dead in the service of his country” and “Rest in peace.” That’s not the way these accounts are kept. We don’t rest in peace. The life of a good man who has died belongs to the people who cared about him, and ought to, and maybe itself is as much comfort as ought to be asked or offered. And surely the talk of a reunion in Heaven is thin comfort to people who need each other here as much as we do.
|Looking north to the winter willows|
Around Mat, the country throbs with the singing of frogs. Too high in the dusk to be seen, a flock of wild geese passes, a kind of conversation muttering among them. They will go on talking and talking that way all night, flying into new daylight far off. That they do not think of him, that they go on, comforts Mat. He thinks of those wild things feeding along lake edges way to the north with a stockman’s pleasure in the feeding of anything, and with something more.