my dear friend,
Tonight I dragged the garbage cans to the curb, that most illustrious of tasks. A sharp red point above the house, like a single festive light, caught my eye between trips. Called Menkar, it is an ancient star, perhaps already burnt out, and its warmth drew my eye up to the clear evening sky. That moment of pause slowed my attention, moving away from the chill that tugged at my wrists and ankles, turning to the sights and sounds. The sky is never quite so clear as it is on such nights. The grass and leaves crunched quietly, contentedly under my feet. Winter has that sort of way—ordinary moments crystalize into memories like old stars in the sky seen far after they are gone.
"Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way." Donald Miller
That dreary time of year has come in Ohio when those of us in the northern hemisphere are waiting for snow to make winter bearable until Christmas.
Well, most people. I wrote in my last letter about how the gloomy months are more hospitable to a bit of melancholy. The trees sleep, and so does a bit of my own soul. As we are both blustered about in the sharp wind, we sympathize. Though born in spring, I am a winter child.
There is something about being tucked away for a season that widens the mind that is willing to attend. A time to look at the structure beneath our lives while other parts of life hibernate.
"I prefer Winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape—the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show." Andrew Wyeth, artist.
This winter, my letters might all take their call from Donald Miller—to show anyone how to love winter. For I love it, though it is among the harder things to love. And I admit there are days when winter wears against our strength and hope. Winter must be loved as it is if loved at all.
Would you consider that there is unseen beauty to behold in the dark, in the cold? That quiet seeds make ready, seeds like you and like me?
Let us see.