Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 14th Barnesville

Hyacinths will bloom soon. The weather is warming. Most of the snow is melted, though the lake is still covered in ice.

I have a terrible cold. Hoping it will pass. I feel a little like Gandalf in the caves of Moria, when he thinks he has escaped the monster, only to be felled by a last whip of light. I thought I had gotten through the winter without a cold ... and now this. The only redeeming quality to a cold is it reminds me how much more vigorous I usually am.

It is late for the hyacinths to bloom but it has been a very cold winter. It seems to me in Maryland we would see them in February.

My father, if alive, would have turned 91 today, Pi Day. We never used to call it that. He died a few weeks shy of his 80th birthday, during a nap. Not a bad way to go, at home, in peace. Eighty good years are fine. I still remember the sense of peace that emanated from the bedroom after my brother called me and we got there. His father died the same way, just shy of 80, in his case simply not waking up one morning. I would not be sorry to have such an end. Of course, with spring coming, new life is on my mind as well.

I am also almost done with my Bonhoeffer MS and could be done if I would just get well. And I believe I will. :)

Roger is very kind to me in my fallen, miserable state. I sometimes think kindness is all the world needs more of.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 11th, Barnesville

It was heavily foggy this morning when I left, but I didn't think to take a picture. The fog was so thick and white it was eery, especially hanging over the lake, and the sun was not quite up. It was dark, appropriate for doing "House of Usher" in class.

I am sick with a cold. My throat is sore, my eyes itchy, everything is slow-motion. I can't do real intellectual work and maybe that is a gift. I could clean and I did. Students are coming over tonight to watch Apocalypse Now. I can blog and I am.

I did take a mid-afternoon photo, below. It's still overcast and through the trees you can catch glimpses of what looks like fog but is ice on the lake. All the snow has melted after all these months, except for a few patches, that look like some sort of fungi. It's warm, springlike.

I took a second picture this afternoon. This one above is to the west. The one below is the south view.

How I see space has changed since moving here. I think for the first year or more I just didn't see how much space we had around us or how big our yard was. My eyes had adjusted to small, and just couldn't take in large. I notice the opposite effect when we are in York. Roger's parents' quarter-acre yard now seems tiny. My eyes jump over it and into the yard behind it, as if were a prelude. It's odd, because before, my eyes fell right on their backyard and I didn't notice much beyond it. There's a metaphor here, that we see what we're trained to see. How much do we miss?

I like the empty space here, the vistas.

I am grateful for how the head cold slows me down and for being able to be at home. I read today wise words: "hold fast what is good." (1 Thess. 5-21) Hold fast what is good or you will lose it. I thought about what is good, so much good around me.

It is so quiet right now that you can hear the stillness. I think the birds must be glad of the warmth.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snow Fort at Olney Friends School

Olney snowfort. If you look hard, you can see the circa 1910 Hutton House in the background.

When I saw a snow fort on the Olney campus, built by teacher and alum Jamie Zavitz and students, it captured my imagination, and I couldn't help but think of a book I read as a child:

That book really makes you want to build a snow fort. So I was delighted to see one at Olney. It made me wish I had gone to the school. 

According to the web, The Wonderful Winter Secret was published in 1931, but I remember it having a pre-World War I feeling. 

Whatever the date, there's a timeless quality to a snow fort, which seems to fit Olney.