By Nightfall

Snow falls. Wind blows. Overnight the skies clear and in the morning it is cold and sunny, the trees twitching in the diminishing wind like a cat’s tail: back and forth, back and forth. I walk up the mountain road, intending to turn into the woods, but the sun full on my face feels so good that I keep walking, and before I know it I’m at the top of the mountain and heading down the other side. It occurs to me that I could just keep going, down, down, down into the valley below,  and over the river, and not far beyond that a whole other state. New Hampshire they call it. Live Free or Die. It has a nice ring to it.

But of course I turn back (I always turn back). The sun no longer in my face, the wind rushing around me, the road slick where traffic has packed the snow to something like ice. Through the bare trees, I can see westward to the white-capped peaks of the Green Mountains. They don’t look so big. They don’t look so far. I bet I could be there by nightfall.

I enjoyed this interview. You might, too.




12 thoughts on “By Nightfall”

  1. best qoute from that whole interview was this in my opinion – ‘The canals are running clear in Venice…Any questions?’ No, you can rest your case Stephen….

  2. Oh, that Stephen. I met him in Berkeley a few years ago. He wouldn’t sign my book until I told him that I heard about him from a friend in Sweden. Which was true. Then he was very gracious. Little strip of a man. Pretty smart. Talks just like he writes. He would be a good’un to talk about the effects of C19 on us.

  3. I read a book called The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. The premise is we suddenly disappear. What happens to the planet? Africa recovers first because the animals evolved alongside us and therefore didn’t have trust in us and did not get predated out of existence. And so forth. It’s a fascinating read.

  4. Today’s story reminded me, as your stories frequently do, that Winter clings to northern New England well into “official”, March thru June, Spring.

    We’re looking at buying a condo in NH to use for ourselves during foliage season and rent out during ski season and the summer. That way my wife can get her New England fix and I can avoid the long winters, mud season, black fly season, and tourist season. A win-win.

    Livestock prices are low ’cause the meat packers are trying to figure out how to run an elbow to elbow production line in an infectious disease environment. Most of the new COVID-19 cases in Nebraska are tied to people working in meat packing plants. We bought 12 head of cattle that are ready for market and will feed them waste grain and pasture them until we decide to take them one or two at a time to the local locker. It looks like we are going to be eating a lot of beef this summer. Hog producers are in bad shape, ’cause hogs have to be fed grain and there is a tipping point where the hogs will cost more than they are worth, so the best financial choice might be to euthanize and bury them if the packing plants are closed or running at a reduced rate.

    1. Hey, Jeff we would buy a beef from you if we were closer. (California/Nebraska) We bought a hog from the Kiwanis auction and it was good. I wish more people could buy their meat direct from the farmer if they can’t raise it themselves.

  5. Thank you for sharing the interview featuring Stephen Jenkinson…..now I have a whole new perspective and will enjoy listening to more of his thoughts and wisdom.

  6. Thank you for not saying “a whole nother”.
    Thanks for the link to the interview. I too am hopeful for the good changes that this extended lockdown will bring. Of course, I can say that from my privileged position where my parents are not sick and I am employed.
    I listened to half the interview, until this damned satellite internet connection flaked out on me. Don’t know why I couldn’t listen to the interview, but I can post this comment!

  7. Side note- thought of you and your blog today Ben. I got out of the car in the grocery store parking lot. Noted a 3 layer rust colored (dead, deader, reincarnation?) 1988 or so Cadillac Deville next to me. The front center console had a pull out ashtray, with skin friction shiny center lighter and the trays on each side. I couldn’t help but count all 32 cigarette butts, with 20 on the driver side…so maybe the driver is right handed. Poking out from under the console was a greeting card saying, ” I am sorry….” It was a fancy square one that requires extra postage because the shape cannot pass readily through the USPS machines- or so I have been told. I smirked and thought Ben Hewitt would idle around the parking lot and find out the rest of the story. Instead though I ambled in to find no toilet paper or baker’s yeast. Oh well, GT

    1. And yet sometimes it’s more fun just leaving it up to the imagination! Thanks for sharing. Impressed you managed to actually get a butt count!

  8. I just saw this post. Will check out the interview, thank you for that. Stephen Jenkinson did a death workshop in our town a little while ago, which I unfortunately missed. I am liking the vastness here out West. Mountains always look close, and then you walk on and on and on for hours and the distance is not shrinking. And you realize the vastness of it all and these giant trees. More than anything, I had been enjoying breathing this vast space in during this time when deep breathing cannot be taken for granted.

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