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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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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Without Constraint

“At night make me one with the darkness,” the poet Wendell Berry wrote. “In the morning make me one with the light.” I snowshoed west across the open field this morning. The sky was overcast. Snow fell from above or was blown from the northwest; I couldn’t tell which as I traveled slowly, my head down […]

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A Child Went Forth

Walt Whitman wrote– There was a child went forth every day,       And the first object he looked upon and received with wonder     or pity or love or dread, that object he became, And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of      the […]

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The Art of Going

The wind blew Thursday, and the snow fell. The world was a swirl of white. Snow devils danced across plowed fields, roadside ditches filled with drifts, cars crept down county highways. Winter, if only for forty-eight hours, had re-asserted itself at October’s end.     But today is Saturday, partly sunny, and calm of wind […]

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