Archive for January 2014

Beyond the pale

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Recently, a rather ominous-looking sign appeared at the end of my road…where pavement gives way to dirt and gravel. I had just checked my mailbox, when it immediately caught my attention. I had the sinking feeling that we had been abandoned. Does this mean that we’re on our own now? Evidently, the state authorities can go up to this point…and no further. Should I be thinking about getting a four-wheel drive vehicle?

Musing about this on my way home made me feel like I was being assigned the status of  outlander …as if I was moving further beyond  the grasp of authority and the conventions of society…beyond the pale. And…I was beginning to relish the thought.

Written by Jim

January 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm


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A very cold, windy morning. The wind is one of my favorite sounds. It’s the closest thing I can think of that approximates the Spirit of God…at least as I can conceive of  it. It’s all about relationship. If it weren’t for the nearby pines…I wouldn’t be aware of the wind…just air moving from an area of high pressure to low. But when it intermingles with the pine needles…it begins a conversation…a symbiotic relationship. The presence of one makes known…and asserts…acknowledges…the presence of the other.

I recently heard something that had never occurred to me…and something that amazed me.  That light…is not made manifest until it falls on some object. It can travel through the blackness of space…hidden…undetected…until it interacts with some other part of creation. Again…a relationship.

Early this afternoon, I noticed some shadows moving across the grass outside my front window. When I looked out…there were several black vultures soaring on the wind…making the most of a free ride. Not looking for easy prey below…but appearing to be just enjoying the miraculous gift of gliding about through the sunny sky…in a joyful relationship with the  wind out of the west.

That must be what love is…a relationship that is an affirmation of the other. Something that requires the presence…of the other. Whether it’s the wind flowing over and through the pines…or the bird gliding effortlessly upon an unseen gift from above…or the beam of an invisible energy that finds substance in that upon which it falls. Love needs an object for its affection. So…is that why we’re here in the first place?

Written by Jim

January 18, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Coming to life

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I awoke this morning to a gray…post-apocalyptic looking world. When I came home yesterday evening, the heavy rains had stopped, but I noticed the creek that crosses my road was roaring through its bed with full force…the highest I’ve ever seen it. The amount and intensity of flowing water took me quite aback, since the McAteer branch of Cane Creek, as it is named on the local topographic map,  is usually just a pokey little waterway a few inches deep. But the fact that it lies within a channel about five feet deep and ten feet wide, cutting to and fro through the woods, is evidence that it occasionally comes to life.

Closer to my house there is a nameless little creek that usually only trickles along…past the huge sentinel boulder. But after yesterday’s deluge, even this tiny rivulet was overflowing its banks and cascading through the woods over rocks…forming little white-water falls along its path.

It rained again most of today, but when the last line of grumpy thunderstorms had passed through, I grabbed my walking stick and took a walk. As I approached the tiny creek, I could hear the water shooting under the road through a culvert…coursing through its moss-covered banks…single-mindedly searching its way downhill towards Cane Creek…the Catawba…the sea.

Whenever I cross it from now on, I’ll never look at this mighty mite the same way …even after it returns to its diminutive, unassuming nature. It needed a name. Tinker Creek, I thought. Yes…that would be good. Named after a favorite book…and after a favorite little Pomeranian.

Written by Jim

January 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Another circuit

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This morning was very cold here in the Carolinas…and very windy, in the early darkness. The icy breath of Aeolus reaching down from the Northlands. The temperature didn’t climb out of the thirties all day. This evening…the winds have calmed down. But, the sky is so clear…the Pleiades hovering above…silently. A striking crescent moon in the west…above the horizon…behind the silhouetted pine trees.

Another new year beginning…another cycle…another circuit around our star.  Yes…a blank canvas. Though…still somewhat intimidating.

Written by Jim

January 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm