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Date:4/24/2014 10:24:04 PM
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Winter Wears On
We are in the time of year when winter just wears on. The hours of daylight are longer but the cold and snow hasn't improved one bit. As I mentioned before, we start yearning to see some evidence of a change of seasons but it's nowhere to be found. I tell myself that by the end of next month we should be seeing the redwing blackbirds, the real harbingers of spring, but it's cold comfort. To restore my fortitude, I turned once again to Hal Borland, my inspiration as a Countryman, and found solace in his words. The following is from his book, "This Hill, This Valley."

"Now it becomes clear that it isn't the little pleasures of the country that make life worth living here. It is rather the big assurances. The little pleasures are for the casual visitor; but one must live with the wind and the weather and know the land and the seasons to find the certainties. The flash of a goldfinch or the song of an oriole can delight the senses; but the knowledge that no matter how sharp or long the Winter, they will be back next Spring, provides an inner surety. To see a hillside come to leaf and flower is to know a particular ecstasy of beauty; but to walk the gray Winter woods and find the buds that will resurrect that beauty in another May is to partake of continuity. To feel the frost underfoot and know that there is both fire and ice in the earth, even as in the patterned stars overhead, is to sense the big assurances.

Man needs to know these things, and they are best learned when the silence is upon the land. No one can shout about them. They need to be whispered, that they may reach the questing soul." -- Hal Borland

I guess I can plug along for another month or so. Here's hoping that you can do the same. -- Gary
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