Monday, April 11, 2011

It’s a hard rain

Aroostook County clouds

Today I’m listening to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”, one of the albums my sister gave me in Chicago. I have a consistent weakness for 1970s singer-songwriters. In his song “From Hank to Hendrix,” he says: “the same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end.” What are those things that make you live but kill you in the end? Maine could be one of those things. It’s a tough life up here, a tough winter, and I’m beginning to understand why Mainers are so tough.

I saw the outdoor thermometer hit sixty today, for the first time. I still snowshoed across to the beaver pond. The snow is more and more swampy by the day, but clinging on. At least two feet in the front yard. Maybe rain tomorrow, maybe another layer carried away, so I can plant my peas.

I find myself thinking a lot about weather up here. Even though I’m one of those people bored by weather, typically. I have a hard time making choices based on weather. But living in Aroostook County, it’s almost as important as it was on the boat. I have to watch the fronts move through, watch them closely and pay attention.

I’m consciously choosing a life where things aren’t easy. As the snow melts down, up comes the mud. I saw the season’s first flies today, too. I’m doing it because:
“The only way to know the truth [about a character] is to witness her make choices under pressure.” --Robert McKee, by way of Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)

Adventure makes you live. Beauty makes you live. Challenging relationships force us to define ourselves in opposition to other people. I’m walking a path where I experience greater extremes, both of joy and of pain. I’m choosing to live more courageously. Some days, as Neil Young says:
“Sometimes the beauty of love just comes ringing through. New glass in the window. New leaf on the tree. New distance between us, you and me. Can we get it together, can we still walk side by side?"

And as Ezekiel says: “When I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people, I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live. I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act.”

Today’s lectionary. An apt metaphor for spring, as we approach Easter. As we watch for the natural world to wake.


Emily Franklin said...

I also enjoy having an excuse to be weather conscious.
I have taken to drying at least half of every load outside while allowing those things (shirts) to stay in the dryer that would need ironing if left on the line. The weather definitely determines when I was a load of clothes.

Melissa said...

I read an interview of a writer (Linda Barry) who hangs all of her clothes all winter in northern Wisconsin, and I was in awe. Taking down frozen clothes certainly would make you weather-conscious!