Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Monday, January 27, 2014


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter…

Winter makes hermits of us all.

I think of Thoreau beside the pond called Walden. I should get that book out and read it again. I read it first in college, in the spring time of my life. I knew it was a classic. I knew thus that I should appreciate it. I suppose I did, but I cannot remember. I just wanted credit for the class. And a good grade.

Now I am past the point of needing credit, of any kind.

I do not need a good grade, either. I do not need others to tell me that my life is worth living. Either it is or it is not, regardless of what others think. I do not need their grade.

Thoreau was a hermit by his choice. I am a hermit by winter’s choice. Winter’s choice has, however, become my choice. I stay in my house.

The winter is outside, in the snow, in the tracks of the deer, in the disappearing tail of the rabbit, in the quick flash of the fox, in the slow snore of the bear, in the bare space in the cold air where the hummingbird used to hover. The winter is in here, too, in my house.

There is the cold air of absence here, but there are also the tracks of memory, the disappearing tale, the quick flash of understanding, the slow snore of acceptance, the question about spring, about when it will come, if it will be early or late, if the bushes will still flower, or if the deer, in the empty gnawing of their winter, will have killed them with desire, desire for one more meal before the boom of the hunter’s gun.

I stay in my house. I look out the window at winter, and I wonder about the spring.

John Robert McFarland

The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where life is defined by winter even in the summer!

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{I also write the fictional “Periwinkle Chronicles” blog. One needs a rather strange sense of humor to enjoy it, but occasionally it is slightly funny. It is at}

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