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"
The sun shone brilliantly Saturday. In celebration, I spent the morning taking photographs at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. I wondered what sights I’d see as I headed to the refuge. The week prior great flocks of ducks had shared the open water, rising in concert at the screech of an approaching raptor, settling again once all […]Read more "The Earth Tilts"
Perhaps it’s due to my age, but I no longer aspire to fame. At fifty-seven, an individual might consider one’s remaining years and conclude that fame — elusive up to now — was unlikely to occur. There are flaws in that perspective. For instance, who’s to say how long one has on earth? Who’s to […]Read more "Elusive Fame"
Monday through Friday my alarm clock goes off at 4:40 am. I stumble downstairs, turn on the coffee pot, and with my first cup of coffee, sit at my desk to contemplate the day. I log the weather forecast into my journal – morning temperature, projected high, cloud conditions, chance of precipitation, wind speed, sunrise, sunset – […]Read more "To Wake Early"
The first wheat was taken from the fields last Sunday, and now semi-trucks loaded with grain travel the county roads to the elevator in Hazel. Sandhill cranes grazed the shorn field south of our place Monday. I parked my bike on the shoulder of the road to photograph them in the early morning light. […]Read more "You Might Ask"
It is the height of summer. Days begin with an edge of cool but quickly heat up. “Too hot,” I say as I cross the yard to the garden. Too hot by 9:30 am to weed. Too hot to hoe. Too hot to pick beans. It is green bean season. We’ll harvest green beans every-other-day […]Read more "Summer Update — Too Hot"
It was a long time ago, perhaps thirty-five years, perhaps thirty-six. I was in the Twin Cities, single, living in a house in the Loring Park area of Minneapolis. It was an old sandstone home whose bedrooms were rented individually. Renters shared a common kitchen, bathroom and living room, but were otherwise unknown to each […]Read more "A Long Time Ago"
If I could hold time in place, if I could freeze-frame a moment in time, I would sit across from my father at the dining room table and simply watch him. I would watch him as he read the newspaper or made his to-do list, cigarette poised between the fingers of his left hand, coffee […]Read more "To Hold Time"