February

By now, the novelty of winter has certainly worn away.  All of the childlike wonder that accompanies the first snows of the season are long since forgotten in the bitterness of bone chilling cold.  Well, that is true if you live in certain parts of the Northern Hemisphere.  If you are fortunate to reside in warmer locations, try not to gloat.

Thoreau, writing on the coldest day of 1855, noted the old saying that “by the 1st of February the meal and grain for a horse are half out.” He spent the rest of that frozen month skating on the local rivers.  We are likewise inclined to the introspection of imposed solitude when reflection comes easily, if not with a friendly face.

Like the wheel of the liturgical year, the earth’s seasons mirror those of our life, and now is the perfect time for context.  As Patricia Hampl wrote in A Romantic Education “And what else was there to do in the winter? Stay inside and read. Or write. Stay inside and dream. Stay inside and look, safely, outside. The Muse might as well be invited—who else would venture out?”

Enjoy the season my friend.  As Shelly said “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

Genesis 8:22

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

The Great Conversation

ON SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
Dorothy Wordsworth

From A Letter

You had a great loss in not seeing Coleridge. He is a wonderful man. His conversation teems with soul, mind and spirit. Then he is so benevolent, so good tempered and cheerful, and, like William, interests himself so much about every little trifle.

At first I thought him very plain, that is, for about three minutes; he is pale and thin, has a wide mouth, thick lips, and not very good teeth, longish loose-growing half-curling rough black hair. But if you hear him speak for five minutes you think no more of them.

His eye is large and full, not dark but grey; such an eye as would receive from a heavy soul the dullest expression; but it speaks every emotion of his animated mind; it has more of the “poet’s eye in a fine frenzy rolling” than ever I witnessed. He has fine dark eye-brows and an overhanging forehead.

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