I’ve always been a big fan of October.
I’m certainly not an art connoisseur but when nature paints Alaska’s vastness with leaves of gold so profound they outshine the finest crafted jewelry while dabbing the tundra in reds so fiery one can almost feel the heat, I take notice.
This year has been no different with avalanches of colors tumbling down mountainsides and flowing out into the flora below.
Of course every season has its drawbacks but this time around the overcast of a political pall has triggered Halloween to arrive early this year.
Partisan discussions have turned into verbal quarrels that make western barroom brawls look more like over-the-fence gossip sessions supplemented with genteel finger pointing.
Much of the media appears to have lost their collective minds and are spewing so much vitriolic bias that if they get any worse we’ll require a series of shots just to safeguard ourselves from the rabid blather of pompous commentators and the press.
Families and friends are fussing at each other. Facebook participants are flinging around opposing views drenched in so much viral mud that it may never wash off.
It doesn’t make a bit of sense. Whose mind will be suddenly changed by all of the overtly skewed twaddle now?
The whole scenario fits into the Halloween scheme perfectly.
The political tableau seems to be filled with the shriek of banshees advocating for and against candidates who they feel come across as corrupt shapeshifters and/or mental troglodytes.
Lies are flying thicker and wilder than snow crystals in a North Slope whiteout and what’s really a downer is that neither side will be satisfied with the outcome.
The anonymous trolls will continue to furiously publish from their “safe place” shoe closets and many of the victors will start to focus on the next election rather than on those who brought them to the dance.
What’s really annoying about this election is that so many profess to dislike both presidential candidates.
My buddy Turk says he has the solution.
He claims everyone who is dismayed by the choices should vote for Donald.
He figures that if Trump wins, the ingrained and elitist politicians would have him on such a short leash that they’d vote for immediate censure if he inadvertently passed gas during his inaugural address.
On the other hand, impeaching Hillary for anything short of publicly taking Bill out with a seven iron for eyeing the room during a White House shindig would be akin to struggling to remove a tick solidly embedded in a highly peeved rhino’s keister with the aid of nose tweezers.
And so it goes…
As for me, I experienced a much needed October surprise that was anything but political.
Early Monday morning, when I opened the cabin door to let our small rescue mutt out for her delicates, we were greeted by a white deck and matching landscape.
All of a sudden the world was purified and previous night’s somber air rejuvenated with a crispness that nipped the nostrils and cleansed the lungs.
As I was escorting her royalty my headlamp revealed markings in the new fluff confirming what our little beastette had been trying to point out for days.
Quicksilver, our resident ermine, had returned and had been hunting during the night leaving a fresh trail near the wood pile. Three smaller sets of prints infused with belly drag indents testified to the fact that Q had brought along the kids for a romp.
On a trail adjacent to the road, bird tracks left tell-tale scuffmarks exposing the recent passage of a small flock of wild pheasants including the single foot imprint of Stub, the one-legged cock rooster that’s heading up the fledgling resurgence of the species in our vicinity.
Near the garden of perennials, now in deep slumber awaiting the spring sun’s warming massage, disturbed snow indicated that mamma moose and her twins had swung by to see if anything close to snack remain a viable option within the confines of the rock garden.
The dog took exceptional glee in spending quality time sniffing the tracks and trails and was reluctant to return to the warmth of her bed. I didn’t blame her.
My overall attitude had taken a huge swing during the short sojourn.
Even though I was facing the daunting prospect of getting my huge, aged, and seriously grumpy dog Howard up for his turn for a lumber through the hoary environ, I was eager to slide his reluctant butt to the door.
Once it was opened and he spotted what awaited, he would morph into a touching puppy. The old boy loves the silver stuff and regresses to nearly the point of requiring bottle feeding.
Because of that timely layer of snowflakes I was reminded how beautiful the world really is and how quickly some forget it and allow their prejudices to slip into a morass of self-righteousness indignation toward opposing views solving nothing and opening pointless wounds.
It makes much more sense to fill the trick or treat bowl and anticipate the sounds of children’s laughter or make our own prints in the snow.
Just chill out and vote.
To be truthful, we’ll all may feel the need for a long hot shower after the polls close.
Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.