Hiking in Spring

Lately, I’ve been going on hikes to prepare for an upcoming road trip.  On the weekend, no matter the weather, I spend my morning at my local state park.  There is a five mile loop that goes along the river and up into the bluffs.  It’s a great place to train and an even better place to think.

This morning, rain was in the forecast and I had the trail all to myself.  One of my favorite things about hiking is the way the cadence of my footsteps pushes my brain to places that feel high and rich.  As I scrambled over rocks, past trees, and up high hills, I found myself deeply moved by spring.

In Minnesota, spring comes slowly.  It comes in waves of warm and cool weather, rain and sun, green grass and sticky mud.

On the trail, most of the forest was still brown and dead.  The leaves were just starting to peek forth–a green blush against the rainy sky.  The ground was scattered with little flowers–pink and white and purple and yellow.

What a miracle it is, that life emerges from the bare earth. It reminds me that there will come a day where there will be no more crying, no more pain, no more injustice.

Spring comes forth in quiet radiance, whispering of life and peace and, best of all, hope.

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset

Weekend Coffee Share: Rainy Days

If we were having coffee, we’d be huddled indoors with our noses pressed against the windows, which are rain splattered.  I’d be drinking a strong cup of tea. What would you be drinking?

It’s our first rainy day in a long time and I’m grateful.  We’ve been battling near-drought conditions on my family’s farm, which has been stressful.  Irrigating eats up time we need to spend doing other work.  We have needed a solid soaking for weeks and it’s finally here!  So far, we have gotten over an inch and a half and I expect more will boil up this evening. Continue reading

November Thunderstorm

It’s unusual for rain this time of year.  After a beautiful Fall, November waltzes in tossing sleet and snow like a flower girl at a wedding.  It’s a miserable time–no leaves on the trees, dead grass, and no snow to cover the mess.

Tonight, though.  Tonight I’m taking refuge at a friend’s hundred year-old farmhouse.  Rain pounds on the window and thunder rumbles through the bones of the building.  You can feel the rumble through the floorboards.

Mmmmmmmm.

Thunderstorms are one of my favorite parts of summer.  I love sitting on my front steps with Dad watching the clouds roll in.  When the lightning gets too frequent, we move indoors and listen.

Having a storm in November feels like a belated birthday gift.

Time for tea, a sweater, and a good movie.

Photo from Unsplash
Photo from Unsplash

To a Rainy Day (Writing 101, Day 9)

Dear Rainy Day,

I’m in love with you. The thunder that presses against my windows send a shiver of pleasure down my spine. The pattering of raindrops makes me feel cozy and safe.

Yet… How am I supposed to get anything done with your constant pestering?

You inspire the desire to shirk all responsibility. I can’t stop thinking about you. I want to spend time with you, to stand in your downpour and get soaked to the skin. I want to soak you in.

I want to curl up in a sweater and leggings in a large chair and watch you transform the normally vibrant colors out the window to a mass of fuzzy grey. I want to drink tea and read poetry aloud, letting the cadence of the words rumble in time with your thunder.

Will you wait for me, Rainy Day? Will you linger until my work is done? Will you save up a whisper so, when I crawl in bed tonight, you can sing me to sleep?

All my love,

Amelia

photo-1417640712331-47f5ff77ce29

This post is inspired by an assignment for the Blogging University class Writing 101: Finding Everyday Inspiration.

For a similar post, check out my breakup letter to Virginia Woolf.

There Will Come Soft Rains

I heard the weather before I saw it.  The wind blasted against my windowpane, causing it to shake and shudder.  The thing about living on the fourth floor of a building, though, is that weather look worse than it actually is.  When I stepped outside in my blue dress, headed for church, I was pleasantly surprised.  The wind was strong, but not overpowering.  A slight drizzle fell, forming small puddles on the path.

I could smell Spring coming.  And I thought of this poem by Sara Teasdale.

~~~

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

~~~

Photo from Google: http://www.paintingsgallery.pro/upload/artists/lipko_andrew_218564/artworks/www.PaintingsGallery.pro_Lipko_Andrew_Spring_Rain_On_The_River_medium_219217.jpg

The Forest Again

On a rainy Saturday night, I find myself taking part in one of my favorite pastimes.  Over the past few months, I’ve slowly been revisiting some of the novels that have impacted my life more than probably anything else (save the Bible, of course).  That’s right, I’m talking about Harry Potter.  I could honestly gush for hours about my love for these novels, discussing character development, themes, plot structure, etc.  But if I did that, would you read it?  Probably not.  In lieu of this, I thought I’d share the most poignant (in my opinion) moment in the series.  It comes from the beginning of the final novel, Deathly Hallows, in chapter 34, just after Harry views Snape’s memories in the pensieve during the final battle.

Finally, the truth. Lying with his face pressed into the dusty carpet of the office where he had once thought he was learning the secrets of victory, Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive. His job was to walk calmly into Death’s welcoming arms. Along the way, he was to dispose of Voldemort’s remaining links to life, so that when at last he flung himself across Voldemort’s path, and did not raise a wand to defend himself, the end would be clean, and the job that ought to have been done in Godric’s Hollow would be finished. Neither would live, neither could survive.

He felt his heart pounding fiercely in his chest. How strange that in his dread of death, it pumped all the harder, valiantly keeping him alive. But it would have to stop, and soon. Its beats were numbered. How many would there be time for, as he rose and walked through the castle for the last time, out into the grounds and into the forest?

Terror washed over him as he lay on the floor, with that funeral drum pounding inside him. Would it hurt to die? All those times he had thought that it was about to happen and escaped, he had never really thought of the thing itself: His will to live had always been so much stronger than his fear of death. Yet it did not occur to him now to try to escape, to outrun Voldemort. It was over, he knew it, and all that was left was the thing itself: dying.

If he could only have died on that summer’s night when he had left number four, Privet Drive, for the last time, when the noble phoenix feather wand had saved him! If he could only have died like Hedwig, so quickly he would not have known it had happened! Or if he could have launched himself in front of a wand to save someone he loved… He envied even his parents’ deaths now. This cold-blooded walk to his own destruction would require a different kind of bravery. He felt his fingers trembling slightly and made an effort to control them, although no one could see him; the portraits on the walls were all empty.

Slowly, very slowly, he sat up, and as he did so he felt more alive and more aware of his own living body than ever before. Why had he never appreciated what a miracle he was, brain and nerve and bounding heart? It would all be gone… or at least, he would be gone from it. His breath came slow and deep, and his mouth and throat were completely dry, but so were his eyes.

Dumbledore’s betrayal was almost nothing. Of course there had been a bigger plan: Harry had simply been too foolish to see it, he realized that now. He had never questioned his own assumption that Dumbledore wanted him alive. Now he saw that his life span had always been determined by how long it took to eliminate all the Horcruxes. Dumbledore had passed the job of destroying them to him, and obediently he had continued to chip away at the bonds tying not only Voldemort, but himself, to life! How neat, how elegant, not to waste any more lives, but to give the dangerous task to the boy who had already been marked for slaughter, and whose death would not be a calamity, but another blow against Voldemort.

And Dumbledore had known that Harry would not duck out, that he would keep going to the end, even though it was his end, because he had taken trouble to get to know him, hadn’t he? Dumbledore knew, as Voldemort knew, that Harry would not let anyone else die for him now that he had discovered it was in his power to stop it. The images of Fred, Lupin, and Tonks lying dead in the Great Hall forced their way back into his mind’s eye, and for a moment he could hardly breathe. Death was impatient…

But Dumbledore had overestimated him. He had failed: The snake survived. One Horcrux remained to bind Voldemort to the earth, even after Harry had been killed. True, that would mean an easier job for somebody. He wondered who would do it… Ron and Hermione would know what needed to be done, of course… That would have been why Dumbledore wanted him to confide in two others… so that if he fulfilled his true destiny a little early, they could carry on…

Like rain on a cold window, these thoughts pattered against the hard surface of the incontrovertible truth, which was that he must die. I must die. It must end.

J.K. Rowling

My other favorite moment in the series goes all the way back to the first book–when little Harry stumbles upon the Mirror of Erised and sees the images of his parents for the first time.  But that’s for another time.

P.S. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually put efforts into coming up with a deep, insightful, intelligent, moving, (insert more adjectives here) post.  But until then, you’re going to have to settle for Harry Potter quotes.  You’re welcome.

Spring rain

It’s impromptu poetry time!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

dusky morning

dawny afternoon

eerie dimness smothers and

lends to pittering and pattering

along the cold-cracked pavement

 

on the other side of the window

my roommates bound

through the falling droplets

oscillating up and down

months of restlessness

result of a five month Minnesota cold spell

suddenly breaking

 

on my side of the pane

I crack open the glass

hugging my warm sweater

breathing in the first spring rain

 

rain-water-falling
Click for Photo Cred