Winter Meditation #10 – Winter Fury

Today is a day that could go down in the record books – heavy snowfall and high winds in the western part of my state. In other words, a blizzard. In my home, I am cozy and warm, watching the rain (expected to turn to snow with darkfall and a temperature drop) and the wind rustling the dried leaves and shaking the bushes. Today’s meditation features writings about nature’s fury in the winter. Hopefully you are not enduring what these men (real and fictional) endured during the coldest season.

“Anyone who has tried to work effectively in -40 degrees F weather, to contend with darkness in winter for long periods of time or the knife slash of windblown snow at these temperatures, wonders that any creature can endure like this for weeks on end, let alone seem to be at peace.” — Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

“Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of our tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.” — Journal of Robert Falcon Scott, 1912, Scott’s Last Expedition (To the South Pole)

“He pictured the boys finding his body next day. Suddenly he found himself with them, coming along the trail and looking for himself. He did not belong with himself any more, for he was out of himself, standing with the boys and looking at himself in the snow.” — Jack London, “To Build A Fire”

“And it was not the cold alone, though that could be brutal enough. Traveling on the river ice and in the creek bottoms, there was always danger of stepping into overflow water and getting wet to the skin. Many a far North trapper could tell of breaking through thin ice and plunging into knee-deep water, of the race to shore to build a fire, to warm and dry himself. If you got anything frozen out there, far from home and shelter, it was just too bad.” — John Haines, The Stars, The Snow, The Fire.

Wishing you a hot fire and a warm drink on this cold day near the end of winter.

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