What do you say, Mr. Winter? Will you go out like a lion, or a lamb?
Month: March 2015
Protected: The Going Gets Tough
Like rain, falling from the sky.
The rain is falling. It seems to have washed away the fog of yesterday, when all day, there was a wonderful mist hanging in the air, throughout the land. It was the kind of fog that moved and floated here and there, as if precipitated by spirits. In very low places in the terrain it was thick and would settle, but above ground it actually looked like groups of little clouds, roaming around.
Today is darker. As I awoke and heard the rain, words came to mind, to describe the sound it makes, when it falls. It’s ‘raining cats and dogs, or buckets’. In Spanish, ‘Llovió a cántaros’. A ‘cántaro’ is a clay jug, that keeps water cool. The sound of the rain depends on what kind of roof it falls upon, and the speed and force, and contact it makes with the surface on which it falls; it could be wooden shingles, corrugated metal, of slate or grass, smooth or perhaps, even plastic. If it’s a good roof it will keep the water out. This morning the rain isn’t pounding or beating on my roof, it was simply falling at a normal pace, not fast.
Rain is good. It melts the snow, so we can see the ground, where crocuses, or tulips will begin to show. In the spring, it supplies water for planting season. One thing’s for sure, ‘Baby, the rain must fall’, which is going to be the case, all day long.
Gray is the color for today. There is a light fog peering out of the forest, in the distance, beyond the blotches of March’s crumby brown snow. The bare earth shows through, here and there, and a variety of birds are restless in the trees, chirping and tweeting their morning song. They have drowned out, the single sweet notes, the rhythmic tones of yesterdays. It seems they need more practice, before the performance. The woodpecker is silent this morn. The rains should come today. GRB
At 19 degrees, it’s important to wear a hat, coat and mittens, today. Even still, the chorus of birds begins, though the woodpecker’s tap is softer, and one can hear the sound of the rolling wheels of the neighbor’s car, as they roll over the frozen ground of their unpaved driveway. Taking their son to school, most likely. He never has to ride the bus. Oh lucky boy! Maybe he’ll find out what’s important from his teachers today. Is it probable, or improbable?
In spite of the weather, it is good that the snow is melting away from the front of the house. It’s a sorry sight, however, as the shrubs are half eaten by the deer. Some creative gardening, is in order.
So getting back to the main question; What is important? It can change by the moment. At this moment, it is vital that I tie up some loose ends to teach my classes today. For an essential question, I will ask my students to reflect in their journal upon, ¿Qué es importante?. Will they remember to use the subjunctive mood, or the infinitive of the verb? Some will, and some won’t, but what is pretty certain, is that they will know, what is important, and once again, the teacher will learn.
Freezing! The woodpecker has joined in the chorus, tapping away, along with the other little bird, from yesterday. Perhaps it will warm a bit, so we can throw the windows open, and hear them in the morn.
Nothing else moves on the frozen land, and sky. The world awakens, in wonder of new happenings. Maybe my computer will be fixed today. Happy face.
The glow of the morning light envelopes the world. Stepping outdoors, there is a crisp chill, lingering in the air, and a solo bird, singing its rhythmic verse. The hospitable Spring arrived quietly, the day before yesterday. Yet, her friend, Winter, so in love, still resides.
Reality sets in. It’s time to go to work!
On Human Relationships, by Willa Cather
Human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life; that they can never be wholly satisfactory, that every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, or a Wizard’s Palace?
St. Paul’s Cathedral in St. Paul, Minnesota, sits high on a hill, and looms over the city landscape. In the distance, one can see the the State Capital, which is made of a more luminescent white stone.
The Cathedral is on Summit Avenue, the elegant street of St. Paul, where F. Scott Fitzgerald frequented many a home for social occasions. At one address, he apparently wrote his first novel, “This Side of Paradise”. Summit is lined with an array of architectural dreams come true for the wealthy, who moved to St. Paul in the 19th century. Some homes are more elegant in their beauty, than others. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Mansion of James J. Hill, one of the most powerful men in the country, whose wealth was acquired through the railroad business. He and J.P. Morgan created an empire, and subjugated the worker to such meager wages, that Teddy Roosevelt took the matter into his hands, and shut them down, or so the story goes. Photographs of the Hill Mansion will follow.
Let it be said, however, that Mrs. Hill, an industrious, highly organized housewife, and fervent Catholic, felt right at home with the Cathedral in plain view, sitting outside her front door. True to the Catholic tradition, she and James grew a large family, of ten children, and today, there are still many heirs to the family wealth.
On a personal note, this is the first time I stepped foot into the Cathedral, although, as a child, I remember marveling at it’s grandeur every time our family went into the Twin Cities, to visit Uncle Johnny and Aunt Betty. Until now, it was always a fantasy vision, which took me to fictional places in my mind. It reminded me of a palace, where a wizard would live, and if you ever got the chance to visit, he would give you anything you wanted, and make your dreams come true.
First Day of Spring
On the first day of spring,
another wintry day.
Yesterday in the afternoon,
and into the evening, too,
a soft dusting, covered the land,
and all the trees, through.
The deep green hemlocks,
blanketed in delicate snow.
Winter wants not, to go away.