Living Winter … Well?
or living well in the winter
bitter cold that
could without notice
The secret is simple and widely known but seldom recognized.
Notice what has gone before you.
Catch everything that you can from it all.
Did you notice,
the remnants of water alive,
not just the tracks
but the possibilities:
the sled that made perfect X-country tracks all the way across the lake
all the way across the lake like never before
for wonderful and needed exercise, until a few hours later, heart pumping, breathing easier, sweating lightly,
I arrive back on this shore and tuck into work with an inspired heart and mind, if a bit tired on my legs.
And look up
See the snow of yesterday collecting light, waiting for the sun to shine gloriously on the sparkles hidden in the snow.
Look for the promise of tomorrow,
the promise that what is plain and climbing nowhere toward nothing
can ascend to beauty and truth, hope and freedom, love and trust.
And always watch the light when it arrives:
when it shines, see it,
not just a glance but see what it does to the simple landscape,
to the people
(especially those hiding in the darkness of lies and deceit, of profound sin … all which are left for God to judge, for consequences that begin now even as they choose to abandon their hearts and minds and rebuild a simulation which changes as quickly as their whim)
and the animals that move,
but marvel at how much those things that cannot move are transformed
to walkers and creators of shadow
that accents the light and points to the source
even when it is not seen.
No matter the view you’ve taken
do not forget to notice the large picture,
the grand scheme of things,
God’s view of our little troubles, darkness, and the forest of challenges that lean in to overwhelm us.
Always our darkness points us to the source of light for us all.
When such destructiveness is undeservedly foisted into one’s life
then the only thing to do is to live well.
And if it is winter, even then live so well.
Though there is more than work
to survive the cold
for in the basics of life,
like staying warm
one easily can pay attention
and meet the challenges well:
Wood heat, portable, and lots of left over insulated tarps, even some that have something in them, and recycling everything one can, until
Even on a night when the propane furnace does not work, because the propane is gelled,
and the generator will not start, because the oil is thick to sledgy, or just too cold,
and the propane heater will not work without warming up the propane in the tank,
and when it starts it is too hot so that it’ll melt a hole in the insulated tarp around the generator,
but a 6 foot 2×6, construction junk, serves well enough to keep the tarp raised high enough from the heater,
to get the generator to finally pop, and then fire and run.
And then to have to scramble, arms flailing against the tarp draped all about, out from under the tarp fast filling with CO! And plug in those cords.
Which means the fans can blow the wood heat into the living quarters,
and the block heater can be plugged in
with the battery charger set to charge,
while one has hot coffee from the wood stove boiled water through a french press, with milk and cereal with blueberries,
and then when starting, to 55 amp start mode,
and the vehicle, against it’s better computer programming jumps to life the third try.
Left to warm up as everything is packed away and padlocked safe,
It’s off to meet the day’s requirements.
And between necessary appointments, errands and refueling, take the time to write what must be written and filed soon: more truth in the face of biased error based on obvious lies, but the truth is too inconvenient to allow.
As if to hide that the earth revolves around the sun by a simple sentence of silence.
Fools are made of powerful people at every turn; the emperor may seem, but is not, dressed.
And many scurry to try to lay the tracks of deceit deeper yet, pretending, pretending, pretending, when it is God, from whom nothing is hidden, who judges and rules without deceit or corruption, but with promise and yesterdays that give grounded hope and trust.
And in this rampart run mobile through one’s 3rd act, there is great humour, and opportunity to look, down, up, noticing the light, and seeing the big picture; as Jupiter resounds and reverberates off the windows, before the Athem and then it’s closing time. Ring the bells, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.
Then it’s once for the Devil and once for Christ, as all hell breaks loose
in such a distant universe
brought close by the folds of time-space in light.
And it is
holding the beloved
in one’s heart, mind and strength,
with great clarity
and thankfulness for great kindness,
and forgiving the darkness and all it’s dark horses
that come charging still through the light touch of chilly, hope-giving and grace-filled dancing
disrupted only by the power of lies.
Live winter well:
dance, and let deceit melt with the ice on the wood turning into heat, as we dance away;
embrace the chilly light, if that is all there is, it still points to something that otherwise one would miss,
and work as if nothing else will save you from the bitter cold, and the bitterness foisted on your path, but know that Christ walks in the bitter cold, and crosses every path with redemption and grace … until one arrives home.
It may be closing time, but the light and dance of peace and joy, and the promise of hope-giving tomorrows
even also for eternity,
have not disappeared,
So breathe in warmly, and visit the
biting cold that claws momentarily
until one returns to the result of deep hard work, deep in the forest, yet warm.
And one marvels at the heat of red
That is living well in the bitter cold:
to be prepared in heart, mind, and body;
And not to forget to dance a glorious step for those who cannot or will not.