Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©

[In the aftermath of moving, I am looking over a lot of old stuff. This old meditation was first posted 9-21-10.]

In the years and places of winter, life becomes both simpler and more complicated.

That is my one true sentence for today.

Helen and I just returned from a cruise that started in NYC and ended in Quebec City, so I’ve been away from my computer for two weeks. We’re not cruise people, but this was a special cruise with the Chad Mitchell Trio, our favorite folk group from the 1960s. We got off the ship each day and poked around in the places we docked, Bar Harbor and Halifax and such, but our reason for shipping out was to hear the CMT in concert [they did two] and to sit around with them in the evenings after supper and sing folk songs.

When folk music gave way to rock and roll in the late ‘60s, the trio broke up. The previously unknown John Denver had taken Chad Mitchell’s place when he left the trio for a solo career earlier, and he went on to a remarkable solo career of his own.  Mike Kobluk, the bass, went back to Spokane, where the trio had formed out of the glee club at Gonzaga U, and directed cultural events for the city for 35 years. Joe Frazier, the baritone, went to Yale Divinity School and became an Episcopal priest. In recent years, Joe and Mike and Chad have reunited occasionally for concerts, especially those reunion concerts you see on PBS.

Joe likes my book about ministry, “The Strange Calling,” and asked me to help him get started writing a similar book of his own, so we worked on that most afternoons on the cruise.

One afternoon I told him that it is my habit to write one sentence, hopefully one true sentence, as the first thing I do each day, to remind me of who I am.

Hemingway said that is the secret of writing: write one true sentence, and then follow it with another.

Today, my one true sentence was: In the years and places of winter, life becomes both simpler and more complicated.

Perhaps later I’ll follow it with another.

John Robert McFarland

The picture is of the Pine Mountain ski jump in Iron Mountain, MI, the highest man-made ski jump in the world. I started this blog several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. I put that in the sub-title, Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter, where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] The grandchildren, though, are grown up, so in May, 2015 we moved “home,” to Bloomington, IN, where we met and married. It’s not a “place of winter,” but we are still in winter years of the life cycle, so I am still trying to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ in winter. I have a picture that is more appropriate now for Indiana, boys playing basketball in winter snow, but I have not yet figured out how to replace the ski jump picture with the basketball picture.

I tweet as yooper1721.

No comments:

Post a Comment