"Our mentioning of the weather -- our perfunctory observations on what kind of day it is, are perhaps not idle. Perhaps we have a deep and legitimate need to know in our entire being what the day is like, to *see it* and *feel it*, to know how the sky is grey, paler in the south, with patches of blue in the southwest, with snow on the ground, the thermometer at 18, the cold wind making your ears ache. I have a real need to know these things because I myself am part of the weather and part of the climate and part of the place, and a day in which I have not shared truly in all of this is no day at all. It is certainly part of my life of prayer." --Thomas Merton
THANK YOU Jane! Yes --what happens outside is absolutely part of what happens inside... the pull of the moon (I mean, really --if the moon can move the oceans, and we are 90% water... I mean, really), the stars, sun or clouds, the ice or hot, the spring storm electrifying...
I spoke with D this morning --he had his leg amputated about ten days ago --he's feeling much better, moving out of the extreme pain zone in to the I can do this zone. In this morning of thick fog --so thick I can hardly see the Cedar Tree Guys gathered by the back fence and the tree --it is good to know the fog is lifting some where....
It has been freezing at night --in to the teens and low twenties --and above freezing during the day --we've had almost a week of it. So, much of the snow has melted in to large slabs of ice. A particularly large slab formed right outside our door, and as it is shaded, the ice isn't melting during the day --just getting more water to form a thicker slab by night. So I got a heavy pipe out of the garage and whacked away at the ice --clearing it down to the walk way. I shoved the ice chunks --in some places two inches thick, up on to the lawnish area twelve feet from the door. I thought it would melt there and soak in to the ground...
But, it didn't. I mean, yes, it melted.... Trouble is, only the top two inches of the ground thaw --making a marvelous mud, but then the ground sloughs off the remaining water --to form a large MUDDY piece of ice by the door.... And, so, now, instead of having a wondrous piece of ice --there is an amazing chunk of frozen mud by my door.... And there is a young man coming for dinner --and I will have to do something so that he can walk to the door....
E came over for dinner the other night, and I told her to be careful --and she said she had been doing the South Dakota Shuffle since she was born --a technique of moving across ice --a winter dance extraordinaire... And BAM --she went right down on our Amazing Chunk of Frozen. She was okay --but bruised. So, now, I have to figure out what to do with it --the ice, a stoop full of ice. Without the salt that burns everything in sight, including little doggy feet....
But, it is amazing to see earth suspended in ice. It is like having a magnifying glass... a sort of secret super vision into otherwise unknown aspects of the earth. Held in wonder.
With all the freezing and thawing going on, the snow has become kindof rotten. It doesn't act like snow --it doesn't act like water --it doesn't really act like ice. It has formed large, fragile crystals that cannot be worked up in to a good snow ball... it has no clarity as ice. It's just rotten. And covered with whatever the wind has blown around. I am hoping we still have more winter, more snow --we need it so.
Besides, my inner spaces are not yet ready for the outer spaces to move toward Spring. There is still too much winter to sort through....
At prayer this morning (Isaiah 55 ending with verse 13)
Seek the LORD while he may be found,So --off to the gym --oh, did I tell you I have started going to the gym? --yes, as part of my pre-Lenten preparation for whole-body prayer --I plan to run/walk a couple of races this spring and summer --for those who suffer from diabetes, for the children here --for all I carry in prayer --I will offer it to God with my whole body.
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake their way,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Hmmmm.... I guess I am preparing for Spring after all! Even if it is 21 degrees today....