The Nature of What We Are

Life bores deep holes in us in hopes the nature of what we are might sink into us…. —Jim Harrison There is a truth found in running long miles each morning. There is a realization that comes at the end of the first-half of the run that however tired, however hard the wind blows, however hot […]

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Late February Thoughts

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 […]

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There Is A Field

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 […]

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Winter Again

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. […]

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Inevitable Change

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 […]

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My Question

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 […]

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I Walk

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. […]

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