At 12:45 this afternoon the temperature is -2. The wind is blowing 30 miles per hour. The windchill is -27. The fact that the sun is shining does not soften the inhospitableness of the afternoon. The wind moans; snow cuts through the air; drifts climb steadily higher against the shed and house. There will be […]Read more "Late February Thoughts"
It is the end of a year. It was not an easy year. I look back on the year past and wince shielding my inner-eye from the pain of my mother’s illness and death, the blur of unexpected activity, long hours spent on the road traveling between Minnesota and Illinois: winter weather, freezing fog, snow […]Read more "There Is A Field"
I wake now to the gray skies of November, mornings begun in darkness, workdays ending in the same. Final skeins of migrating geese stretch pencil-thin against the clouds; snow squalls blow suddenly from the north, halt, then blow again. The sun makes its appearance, apologizes, and disappears. The wind bites. The temperature drops. Winter returns. […]Read more "Winter Again"
Frost touched northwestern Minnesota early Thursday morning. Just like that, summer ended. We now watch the forecast closely, tarps at hand to cover late-ripening tomato and pepper plants. Beets and carrots are pulled; soups simmer in stock pots and slow cookers. Yellow squash is blanched and frozen. Spent plants are gathered and thrown atop the […]Read more "Inevitable Change"
It’s a misty, overcast morning. The air is primed for rain. The sweet corn calls from the garden. It’s time — perhaps past time — to pick and process it for winter storage. The summer winds to a close on these last days of August. In northwestern Minnesota summer announces its exit without equivocation. The […]Read more "My Question"
I have thought much since January how life is tentative. I have known abstractly the brevity of life – how war extinguishes breath, the soldier and civilian’s; how famine weakens and illness encroaches; how epidemics — smallpox, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and cholera —sweep aside generations in their path. Polio was the childhood fear of my mother. […]Read more "I Walk"
A decent day is promised after two days of high winds, rain and cold temperatures. It’s hard to give up an early June weekend to inclement weather — hard on my mind; hard on my body; hard on my creativity. In the face of the cold and rain, though, I slept late Saturday morning, sleeping […]Read more "Consider How the Lilies Grow"