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OPINION: My Favorite Time of Year

February 13, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Pa-hinn Cruikshank

By Pa-hinn Cruikshank

This is the time of year when I like to take a deep breath, bundle up, and head outside to enjoy the season. The season of trees festooned with plastic bags.

Beauty of the season

Beauty of the season

There’s nothing quite like the sight of a fresh bag flapping in the breeze as it clings to the bare branches of a tree in downtown Lankville. It stirs up feelings of home, memories of kith and kin, and a sense of pride in a cherished community tradition.

Hell, I get nostalgic for the long-forgotten days before Barlow Foods began supplying customers with plastic bags. Back then, we had to make do with those brown paper bags that featured the familiar logo from our hometown store. In the reverie of a Sunday afternoon, I can still conjure the sepia-toned image of my father, pipe clenched in his teeth, as he stands astride the old wooden ladder in front of our house, carefully affixing a paper bag to an advantageous branch.

Beauty of the season (night view).

Beauty of the season (night view).

After climbing down, he would tell me stories about helping his father hang carpet bags from trees in the period when Lankville was little more than a pioneer town.

We’re luckier these days. On “Bagging Day” (or “Winter Solstice”) we gather in Pondicherry Square to release our little treasures to the sound of children’s excited squeals. With any luck, some nearby tree quickly ensnares a bag or two, and there you have it: a unique and glorious decoration that will last the whole season long.

It is for some other time of year – a time when the springs thaw, the Mud Pits ooze, and President Pondicherry emerges from his cave – to kneel beside the shores of Lankville Lake and let go thousands of ash-filled cartons, so that strands of black and grey ash intertwine in lovely patterns on the water’s surface, delighting the eye of every Lankvillian.

For now, enjoy the time of plastic bags while it lasts.

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