Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snowless Wonderland

I recommend following these instructions.

Take a walk. Talk a walk in the cold before the snow comes and fills in to the road edges several feet thick. Take a walk and enjoy the line between gravel and pavement and the grass next to the field. Note the similarities between the sound of frozen grass under your shoes and the gravel scrapping concrete. Note the similarities in how it feels under your shoes and how you like that feeling. Breathe deeply and let the cold nip but not bite the bottom of your lungs, because it isn't the deep heart of winter yet.

Leave that border you've been considering and pick the field, the one surrounded by yellow "No Trespassing Signs" because you are pretty sure that walking across an empty corn field, waiting for summer, could hardly be considered dangerous or threatening. Take this walk in the morning or as the sun sets, and watch how the colors in the clouds aren't what they are in summer but are their own careless, distant beauty. Watch for ground hog holes. You don't want to fall and twist your ankle because you will have to climb over a creek to get out of this corn field and you didn't bring your cell phone to call for help. That makes the ground hog hole even more interesting to look at. When you come to the sound of a man running his chainsaw in the woods and his four wheeler, avoid. You didn't take this walk to be found. Walk the length of the field. Listen to the wind on the top of the hill and look at how small and full the land is with small hills just the size of the one you stand on.

And note that it is winter, that the earth has turned brown, that there isn't a sound of a bird anywhere, but that it is beautiful, and that the creek you nearly fall into to return to the road, sings clearer in the stillness, brimmed on its banks in heavy ice.

Offer the Doxology as thanks.

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