It's an early late spring day in eastern Kentucky, well above normal temperatures sweating the stolid populace. Yet the blackberries haven't bloomed, the last cold snap, or "blackberry winter", as this round has been called for generations, hasn't happened. In a neighbor's yard blooms a fancy sort of iris, one appearing black to the casual eye. Up close, the flower is a deep, deep purple, rich in pigment, with a center of arterial red. Bloody at its heart, the bloom nods in the breeze, listless and tired even in its militant upright stance.
I wonder how many this summer will kill. From here, the heat will escalate. People and animals of all kinds will slowly creep to a halt. The Red River already carries itself in sluggish roils, the forest zones near it taking on an unmistakeable jungle atmosphere.
On the first day of May, high summer has cast out warning flags. Blackberry winter is upon us. In a tiny, ramshackle cabin tucked into a ridgetop cove of regrowth red cedar and juniper, there sits an old military field desk, a comfortable if ancient chair waiting. The book of memories exists as a stack of fluttering notes to the side of a hand-me-down, loyal Mac laptop.
Time is a paradoxical phenomenon. All that matters is where you are going, though the truth of that is rooted unavoidably in the past.
It's time, and then some, to travel on. Let the Circle turn.