The snow has come…

and everything has slowed to its pace. Whatever plans were made. Whatever things were supposed to happen. It all has been rearranged. We think we are in control. We think we are above the world. We believe our machines can triumph over all and the sheer force of our will always prevail. Ah, but the snow, it comes and all is changed. The snow falls and we become less then the gods we believe ourselves to be. We come back to earth. We become humans again, fragile, on a schedule not our own, needing each other and humbled by the earth from which we were made.

Such it is with snow, and us, and the reality of things.

Some wisdom…

If we move out of our self, whom do we encounter? asks Bishop Theophan. He supplies the answer at once: We meet God and our neighbour. It is for this very reason that denying oneself is a stipulation, and the chief one, for the person who seeks salvation in Christ: only so can the centre of our being be moved from self to Christ, who is both God and our neighbour.

Byzantine Texas

China's one child policy…

has left it with a huge surplus of males as families opt to abort unborn girls. More here.

Apparently the women who somehow survive the gauntlet will have their choice from the surplus. Some comfort.  Plus its always good for a culture to have millions of unattached men wandering around…

There is a pleasure…

in receiving an unexpected gift and I received two of them this past Sunday. First I was given a beautiful handcrafted box from a parishioner. I’ll post a picture some time so it can be done some justice. Then, on the way home my sister called and told me she had a gift for me from Italy. It was an authentic jersey from the Naples, Italy soccer team. While other people were wearing their favorite football team’s apparel I was at the SOS Club playing music and standing up for Napoli!

What a day!

The Hope for Haiti…

telethon was all over television last night. Certainly its a good cause, the people of Haiti need much and yet part of me is always cynical about these celebrity driven telethons. I wonder why multi-millionaire artists wouldn’t simply write a check from their largesse and quietly help good things happen. They could avoid delays, production costs, salaries, all the expenses and send their help quickly and efficiently.

Ah, but no one would know, and that makes all the difference. The sad part is once the show is over their reward is already in hand and it will fade with the spotlights, still valuable, of course for the people of Haiti, but lost for eternity.

Sometimes…

I get lost on the road between St. Paul and LaCrosse, buried in the surroundings between here and there, captivated by the country outside my car.

Highway 61 passes quickly through the city and rolls through the hills above the Mississippi. At Red Wing it makes its turn to the valley and follows the river itself all the way to LaCrosse. Along the way small towns fill any wide spot between the bluffs and houses nestle along the river where they can. The hills are steep and penetrated by coulees cut into theirs sides by millenia of rain and the water that bubbles up through springs in the rock.  Trees hang on their slopes with a singular determination.

Unlike the flat lands suitable for farming there is mystery here, the sense that something is hidden around the next bend in the road or a turn onto gravel would take one into a different place and time.  There are towns hidden in the valleys with names like Zumbro Falls and Rollingstone and houses barely visible from the road. A wise person could live in natural silence just a few miles from town if they placed themselves well. Even as I drive by I notice and covet the possibilities.

I imagine myself sitting on a porch in a house set in a small valley, quiet in the morning and writing my thoughts. I think of music played with only the trees to listen. I ponder walking roads with neighbors true but few and far between. I hope for a place in the woods to pray.

Yet I know it wouldn’t exactly be that way. I’ve lived long enough to know there is always something. But even if only a part of it were true…

And that’s why my mind wanders on highway 61.

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