and so it begins anew...

And so it begins anew: the first snowfall of the season. The predictions are for 50F this weekend but right now it looks like a winter wonderland. There is a sacred silence within these snowstorms that envelopes the town in muffled tones and slows everything down to a crawl. If you don't have to travel, such times are truly gifts - and that is so for me today. (My concern and prayers are with those, however, who must make a journey because then the snow becomes a potential adversary. Traveling mercies, my friends.) 
Later this evening we will gather for supper with dear friends in one of our town's new farm to table eateries. We'll talk of our move into retirement and part-time ministry. And Di's calling to help new refugees learn English and make their way through the challenges of living in a new land. She was just fully accepted into the January 2017 study course for accreditation. Come tomorrow, we'll hunker down for a Sabbath rest, too. 

Clearly their is a change in the air and the snow evokes the promise of deeper introspection. Thomas McGrath put it like this in "Beyond the Red River."

The birds have flown their summer skies to the south,
And the flower-money is drying in the banks of bent grass
Which the bumble bee has abandoned. We wait for a winter lion,
Body of ice-crystals and sombrero of dead leaves.

A month ago, from the salt engines of the sea,
A machinery of early storms rolled toward the holiday houses
Where summer still dozed in the pool-side chairs, sipping
An aging whiskey of distances and departures.

Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land.
My possibles are all packed up, but still I do not leave.
I am happy enough here, where Dakota drifts wild in the universe,
Where the prairie is starting to shake in the surf of the winter dark.

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