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"
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"
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"
To adventure. When I was young, guided by my imagination and the books I read, I adventured. My siblings and I laid planks between tree limbs and called them forts. We pinned blankets over the dome jungle gym and called it a tent. We dropped charcoal briquettes into freshly dug holes to bake potatoes and […]Read more "Some Other Dimension"
“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 […]Read more "Without Constraint"
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 […]Read more "A Child Went Forth"
I took a walk in early November, and what did I see? In the gray light of coming winter, I saw a chickadee perched in a tree. I took a stroll that Saturday afternoon, and who did I meet? Parading down a gravel road, ruffed grouse communed in twos and threes. The snow […]Read more "I Took a Walk"
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 […]Read more "The Art of Going"
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"
I tell you this, ‘though I admit some shame in doing so. My heart hurts as I wander the woodlots surrounding the house. The aspen and slippery elm leaves I watched unfurl in the earliest spring have yellowed. They fall now with the slightest provocation. They fall at the merest suggestion of a breeze. They fall […]Read more "To Dream"