I was setting up the parish hall for a Thanksgiving community service project last night when the Sexton came by on his nightly rounds. We chatted about things and he noted the weather has really gotten cold the last couple of days. I agreed. I went back to setting out materials on long tables. He walked over to the door and came back.
“Where I’m from, on the island,” he said – he is originally from a small inhabited island off the Maine coast – “in the winter, it would get cold and the water, the ocean would freeze. Two, three feet thick. People would skate, and ice fish, and race ice boats, even drive on it. That was going on when I left there sixty years ago. Now, they barely get a film of ice in the winter.”
“There’s the evidence of climate change, huh?” I said.
“Yeah, guess so,” he said, shook his head, looked down at his feet and turn to go. He shuffled toward the exit. As he opened the door to leave, he looked up, and even through his thick glasses I saw a sadness in his eyes. From nostalgia, memory of a lost home, or a lost planet, I couldn’t tell and he didn’t say. Probably all of them.
“See ya tomorrow,” he said.