L'Abri Journals...ACGray

March 2002
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Late Winter or Early Spring...?


LAbri, March 4, 2002,

 a page from my journal .acg

           Comes now March once more.  Classify it as you wish early spring or late winter.  Here today it looks like spring but feels very much like winter.  A sharp breeze pushed by a front that brought a blizzard to the Midwest must mystify the flock of migrating woodpeckers playing merry-go-round on the tall pines in front of my house.  This is my first spring at LAbri so Im reaping the benefit of someone elses planting; the daffodils out my study window are bringing me joy! 

The month is full of special days:  St. Patricks of course, after the Ides of March, followed by Palm Sunday and Easter at months end.  By the Equinox, my herb garden will be a patch of green. This month, too, marks the tenth anniversary of my move to the Shenandoah Valley.  Today the Blue Ridge is majestically etched on the Eastern horizon pure serendipity.

            Rain, blessed rain, came to our valley this past weekend and put out a fire in the Shenandoah National Park visible from my house.  In six days the fire consumed nearly 4000 acres of forest.  The first night I could see flames shooting angrily up the mountain just nine miles distant.  But the weekend rain also gave our Massanutten a benevolent soaking, so desperately needed.  I send up a Deo Gratis.

            I am absorbed for the moment with reading Colin Thubrons In Siberia.  Written in exquisitely elegant prose, Thubron finds a land of spectacular natural beauty.  In counterpoise to the horrors of Solzhenitzens well documented Gulag is the extraordinary compassion Thubron encounters, where people shower him with hospitality despite the pathetic meagerness of their resources.  One reviewer wrote that perhaps the core to Siberia turns out to be an unshakeable desire to believe, a quintessentially Russian hopefulness that is born of faith.  Thubron traces it from Dostoevsky through the wreckage of communism to present day Siberia.  There, too, in Siberias Vladivostok, I lived one unforgettable summer. 


Sometimes we hear of people who profess indifference to death.  But no man who himself comes close to death or who sees someone he loves leave this life is indifferent to death.  When we face the fact that cherished associations here are moving ever nearer an earthly end, we inevitably think deeply of death and the promise of eternal life.  And as we face the uncertainties of this world, we are grateful for faith and assurance for the future And those who have lost those they love and those who look to the end of this life may rely on the reality that life is limitless, that truth and intelligence and personality are perpetuated, and that the path was pointed and the way was opened by Him who returned from death to life on that first Easter day.      

Richard L. Evans, Tonic for Our Times

..for it really matters not in my relationship with you whether your concept of God takes the form of a person or a spirit or a symbol of mystic power or the source of light as long as we both know that we are a part of the stream that had its source at some level above the wisdom of man and even with our many differences of personality and temperament can yet reach out to touch each others heart when unexpected beauty lifts us for the moment above ourselves and gives wings to the soul---    

Winston O. Abbott, Letters from Chickadee Hill

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the week...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. 
Isaiah 40:28-31