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MERRY GLOWING WOMBATS

Until yesterday I didn’t know that glowing wombats were a thing, but I read about them in the Times, so I guess they must be. I wish I’d known about them in the 7th grade, when I was in a rock band with the most appalling name, and just think, it could have been “The Glowing Wombats!” (It was supposed to be called Plastic Surgery, but our Italian drummer misheard it, and at our first-ever gig he arrived with his bass drum festooned with the name “The Plastic Association!”)


Nevertheless, I think you’ll all agree that a day when you read about glowing wombats is redeemed in many ways, even if it was an otherwise yucky day.


For someone who writes in a blog, 2020 was a weird year. A “blogger” needs material, and material depends to a large degree on the activities you have had, and this year was a year without much in the way of activities. You probably don’t care to read that they had chanterelles at the Whole Foods this week. Another thing one could do is to write about all the glamorous wines one has opened, and I know this has been the year of “What are we waiting for?” But I need a wine to deliver some kind of truth beyond how it happens to have tasted. If it takes me somewhere, I’ll tell you what that was like. Otherwise I doubt it is crucially interesting to learn whether the fruit was pears or quinces or whether the acidity was in balance. I myself care a lot about such things, in private, but shoving my tasting notes before your unblinking eyes is kind of like telling you about my dreams or making you look at vacation photos.


It’s the Winter solstice today. I like these last days of the year, the easy downslope of the waning light, the Christmas tree with the pretty gifts on the floor below it. I know that for many people this is a festive time of year, but for curious little me it has always asked for quiet. Something I like is to stand outside in the cold on Christmas Eve and think of all the excited little kids who can barely get to sleep. New Year’s Eve, though, has never meant a thing. The day, and the year, begin with the morning, not at the second past midnight with all the noise and stuff. I do like putting up the new calendars – I have a thing for wall calendars.


2020 is certainly a year we’ll all be happy to kick in the ass. Good riddance. But it’s up to us, each of us, to make the next year better, and my trust in humanity only goes so far. Still, cautious optimism is better than no optimism at all.


I feel for the people who get sad with the short days. I’m the other way; I like an early evening, and on sunny days I really like the last hour of daylight, which pours into my room in the tawniest glow you ever saw. The sudden evening, when the sun goes behind the house across the street, is a stern but useful reminder, to love the beauty and respect the dark.


So, no wine opinions this week. They’ll keep. We’ve got to heal first, we need to stay safe, we need to pray for one another’s survival. Later on we can yammer about those other, terribly important things. Right now there are people who need to be loved.


So I’ll see you again in January. For now my fervent wish for you is that your wombats glow and glow, every day of the coming year, and if your friends don’t like that you gave them a glowing wombat for Christmas, it’s time to get new friends. Sheesh, what is it with some people?!



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