Teake was happy to be home, and it was good to see him so energized. We took a few long walks and runs in the countryside where he grew up, which is mostly all farmland. It smelled like shit, literally, because there was shit everywhere. Teake loved it, taking deep breaths of it, ah, he said, this is home, this is what home smells like! He is something of a connoisseur of it, and can recognize regular cow shit, fermented cow shit, and distinguish it from sheep shit and the lovely pure smell of fermenting leaves. I have a negative relationship to the smell of shit, remembering it from my days in Iowa when there were huge hog farms with lakes of it infecting the air. But I have to admit this shit smelled sweet, and I wondered if I would ever come to love it at Teake does.
We spent New Year's Eve in Amsterdam with some friends, watching the fireworks along a canal in the eastern part of the city. Fireworks aren't centralized there so everyone stockpiles them; it was lovely to see them flowering and bursting all along the canal, in the sky and reflected in the dark, slow-moving canal waters that remind me so much of my own low-land home, New Orleans.