PENTECOST

“When are you going to learn to keep your big mouth shut?” growled old Beef Wafflegreen, elder of the Premmiproppa Good News Church, to his equally-old fellow-elder Dusty Snodgrass. They were walking down a sunny, springtime, country road with expressions fit for February.

Dusty replied, “The Bible says we are to lovingly correct.”

“Even when it makes the new preacher look like a pedophile?”

“I never said he was a pedophile. I only said little Pumpkin was uncomfortable.”

Beef shook his head. “I always said you had the brains of a turnip.”

“Oh? Well, you’ve got the heart.”

“Best part of a turnip”, countered Beef, before continuing, “And anyway, what do you expect? Preachers are suppose to ask girls to Sunday school. Who wants that job? And who wants to be asked? Heck if I ever wanted to go to Sunday school. Of course it’s awkward. It’s bound to be.”

“You were a boy”, replied Dusty. “You’d rather be fishing. It’s different with girls.” He waved an arm while walking, becoming expansive. “Think back to a school dance when we were punks. The boys were on one side of a gym. Most would rather be fishing. The girls were on the other side of the gym. Most would rather be dancing. They were miserable because none of the boys had the guts to ask. But I said “most“. There were also a few girls who felt like the boys. They would rather be fishing. And those ones don’t want to be asked. The preacher’s suppose to know the difference.”

“Eh? What the fudge are you going on about?” exploded Beef.

Dusty adopted a slightly condescending air. “They problem with you, Beef, is that you don’t understand women.”

“Likely so. You can go all girly better than me, ‘cause you have seven daughters. But get on with it. What are you driving at? Are you saying little Pumpkin is one of those girls who don’t want to be asked?”

“Exactly. Maybe you aren’t quite so dumb as you look.”

Beef furrowed his brow. “But how the heck’s the preacher to know? It’s not like girls have labels affixed to them.”

“Sheesh Beef. You’ve got to play it by ear. Most girls glow like a sunrise when asked. But Pumpkin got all squirmy, and blushed like it hurt.”

Beef sighed. “I suppose you’re right. But the preacher’s madder than a wet hen. He says you’ve started the whole town talking, and his reputation is ruined. You know how those whack-job Flatlanders, who have moved in, are. They think all churches should be outlawed, and all preachers are creeps.”

“Well, that’s their problem”, countered Dusty. “They’re afraid to talk about anything, ‘cause it might not be acceptable. You can’t even talk about the weather any more, without them shrieking and fainting.”

“Right: That Global Warming malarkey.”

“Yup. They’re always shrieking and fainting about stuff. And they call us prudes.”

“Yup. ‘Political correctness,’ they call it. A pile of manure if I ever saw it, but they are big on it. And the preacher’s afraid he’s dead meat, if-’n’-when he don’t kowtow to that nonsense.”

Dusty winced. “A preacher’s s’pose to know better than that. Christians are s’pose to face lions. He’s suppose to set the example. We’re suppose to be able to talk about what makes some girls comfortable and some girls uncomfortable without dreading that some Gestapo will come in and arrest us.”

“I see what you’re saying,” agreed Beef, but he was still shaking his head. “Yet I still wish you had kept your big mouth shut. The preacher’s a fit to be tied, I tell you.”

The two men were approaching a quaint, old church. It had seen better days, and the paint was peeling badly. As they neared a choir ceased singing, and a slightly prissy, sing-song female voice began speaking.

“Widow Hicks doin’ the Children’s Sermon,” grunted Dusty.

“Aye-yup”, agreed Beef. “And you’ve got to credit Pastor Clinkerfuss. We went three years without a kid in our church. Nice to have some kids in the church again. That’s why you should shut your mouth. Clinkerfuss does good.”

“Taint Christian to be silent,” was all Dusty would reply, as the men entered.

The sanctuary of the Premmiproppa Good News Church would be in the National Historic Register, of anyone knew it existed. The pews were beautifully carved long ago by men who loved wood, and the stain-glass windows each told an individual story, with each elaborate. Generations had carefully cleaned and dusted the room, and despite its age it did not smell musty. It held a mood, an atmosphere, all its own.

There was room in the pews for roughly two hundred people, if the people were crowded in (and if there was no such thing as fire codes), but only forty-five sat in the church on this particular Sunday morning. Thirty were ancient people, and some had sat in the same pews for half a century. But fifteen were from three young families, and the old-timers were smiling in happy disbelief as Widow Hicks finished her children’s sermon, and nine children skipped and pranced back down the aisle to their parents. Then Pastor Clinkerfuss arose and wearily walked to the pulpit to give his sermon.

Pastor Clinkerfuss looked the way an innocent man looks, when he has been accused of being a pedophile. He was gaunt, with dark circles under his eyes, and his hands were shaking slightly. His face was an ashen gray, but when his eyes arose and he spotted Dusty Snodgrass at the back of the sanctuary he abruptly flushed bright pink. He fought himself, quivering, and then his better judgment lost.

He spoke with scathing sarcasm, “Well, well, well. Will you look who has condescended to come wandering in. If it isn’t Brother Snodgrass, the oh-so-wise elder of this church. The man who thinks he is so smart that, though he has never been to divinity school, he can correct me. The man overseeing a church sinking into obscurity, who has utterly derailed my efforts to revive it. I must defer to his great and hoary wisdom, which has landed us in utter and complete embarrassment. Brother Snodgrass, seeing as you are so ancient and so wise, will you please give the message?”

With that Pastor Clinkerfuss stalked to the front pew and sat down, looking at his toes and folding his arms.

Beef Wafflegreen hastened away to the side, and Dusty, with his eyes very round, took a deep breath. Then, in a surprisingly relaxed way, he wandered down to the front of the church and mounted to the pulpit. He tapped the outdated microphone, cleared his throat, and then began,

“Well, this is danged awkward.”

There was a ripple of laughter among the old-timers of the church. This was the most fun they’d had in years.

Dusty looked thoughtfully to the side, and then raised is palms and prayed, “Lord, you say that when we land ourselves in this sort of trouble, you will supply us with the words to say. I pray you give me the words.”

There was then a long pause, and then Dusty chuckled, “I’m still waiting!”

Another wave of laughter rippled across the pews, but it abruptly ceased when Dusty exclaimed, “Oh wow!” The silence grew as he reiterated, “Oh wow, wow, wow! Oh wow!” Then he hitched up his belt.

“I think the message is this:” he then began, with his voice full of excitement. “Truth is bound to get you in trouble. No one wants to hear it. It reminds me of a funny poem:

Give them sugar. Give them spice.
Cook them brownies that taste nice
But never, never give advice.

Yes, you laugh at that, until you think about Jesus. He gave good advice, didn’t He? But did anyone want to hear it? No. Instead they killed Him, or thought they killed Him, and why? For telling the Truth.

Back then they got to see you can’t kill Truth, ‘cause they got to see Him walking around after he was dead, but that happened a long, long time ago, and also Jesus said he’d be back again any day, and that kept folk excited. But folk now have been waiting for His second coming two thousand years, and it hasn’t happened. So maybe some are starting to think God forgot, and maybe Truth now can be killed. It sure seems that way, when our preacher lands in such a pack of trouble for trying to be kind, but instead making Pumpkin squirm and blush. Maybe being kind can even be outlawed, ‘cause it isn’t up to the standards of Flatlanders.”

Dusty rubbed under his lower lip thoughtfully a moment, before continuing, “What the Flatlanders want is no grief. I don’t blame them, but then I think about what grief has brought me. What has it brought me?”

A strange look of elation filled the old man’s face. “You know something? All the crap I take for telling the Truth is worth it, ’cause the grief makes me wiser. They say ‘You cannot sing the blues until you pay the dues,’ but it is even better than that.”

Dusty laughed a mad laugh, and continued “One funny thing about Jesus is that he said we have to lift up and carry our cross long before he actually carried his own cross. First He talked the talk, and then He walked the walk. But still the Flatlanders wonder, ‘Is it really worth it?’ Is the grief you get for Truth really worth it?”

The old man again chuckled, and then said, “They’ll never know, unless they try it. I can say it is uplifting all I want, but why should they believe me?”

There was a gasp from the congregation, and Widow Hicks fainted. Dusty Snodgrass was slowly rising into the air. He laughed in delight, “Well, this is danged awkward.”

The pity is that the congregation was so astounded that not a single person took a picture with their cell phone, which is why the miracle never appeared on Facebook.

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TO THE ACCUSED

You have dug in your heels, brother, in a way
That I have to say resembles an ass.
Please do not get mad at the things I say
For I only serve as a looking glass
That shows you the way that you may appear
To outsiders. Inside I have no doubt
You mean well, but facts are facts, and I fear
Your goodness fails to get all the way out.
The best hearts sometimes tread on a child’s toes
By mistake. Why not admit a mistake
Was made? What possible, dimly-glimpsed woes
Keep you from saying, “Sorry?” Does it take
The child apologizing for their toes
To keep your high dudgeon from thorning your rose?

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Many Maps–

Due to various interruptions I haven’t been able to post the DMI maps of pressure and temperature at the Pole. I’m now posting nearly two months worth of maps, primary as records for my notebook,  but also because it is a record of much of the 35° yearly rise of temperatures at the Pole (Celsius). A lot of interesting stuff occurs as the Pole shifts from six months without sunshine to six months when the sun is up, and the interesting stuff isn’t limited to the shenanigans of the winds and sea-ice. There are also the antics of Alarmists and Skeptics to observe.

Although temperatures rise from a mean down near -40°, it is important to remember that there are big swings in temperature during the winter, and temperatures up towards freezing are not unheard of even in the dead of the darkness. Alarmists tend to suggest such swings are a modern phenomenon, while Skeptics tend to look back at years such as 1972.

The swings in temperature are caused by surges of milder air brought up to the Pole by a loopy (meridional) jet stream, and are less common when the flow is zonal. When the south winds occur over land they can create polynyas of open water near shore, which Alarmists become wide-eyed about, as Skeptics yawn. Alarmists tend to feel the loopy jet stream is caused by a trace gas, while Skeptics feel different causes are involved, (and I personally look to cycles of the AMO and PDO, and shifts from a “quiet” sun to a “noisy” one.)

There can be little doubt that the past winter brought more surges of mild air north than we have seen in recent times. There were also surges of cold air far to the south, (but when you focus on sea-ice alone you develops a sort of myopia). Alarmists grew exited because the south winds blew the edge of the sea-ice north, especially in the Bering Sea (but also in Fram Strait, where the flushing of sea-ice down the east coast of Greenland was impeded). This led to Alarmists pointing at “unprecedentedly” low amounts of sea-ice in the “extent” graphs, but, because the sea-ice was condensed in the Central Arctic, there was an “unprecedented” rise in the “volume” graph, for Skeptics to counter with.

As summer comes on the contrast between the frigid cold at the Pole and milder oceans to the south grows less, and things calm down, but in our first map from March 19  the sun hasn’t yet risen at the Pole, though the sky is bright with twilight. Temperatures are still very cold, and great contrasts can occur.

At this point the Beaufort High becomes important, as its winds, (especially towards Alaska where it can clash with northwards extensions of the Aleutian Low), can break up the sea-ice even during the coldest winter. (This was especially notable in February 2013, when the thin “baby ice” skimming the open waters of the record-setting 2012 minimum was riven by leads of open water fifty miles wide. Alarmists felt this would hasten the summer melt, but the temperatures were at -40°, so not only were the leads swiftly frozen over, but the water under the ice was apparently chilled, so that the summer melt was less.)

The Beaufort High, if correctly positioned , can rip the ice away from the northwest coast of Alaska, and also the approaches to the Northwest Passage north of the Mackenzie River Delta. This year the Beaufort High has been smaller and weaker, and positioned in a manner where it has constantly blown ice north in Bering Strait, but has had less of an effect at the delta. In our first map on March 19 we see it in one of its stronger manifestations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By March 20 a strong low was moving up into the Kara Sea on the Siberian coast. The south winds ahead of it bring air north from central Siberia. In the dead of winter these Siberian winds might be colder than the air over the ice, but it is a sure sign of spring (and Siberian thaw) that the maps show a plume of milder air press north in the isotherms of the temperature maps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By March 22 the Kara low, in conjunction with an Aleutian low, have supressed the Beaufort High in a manner that creates strong winds from the south in Bering Strait, but calm and cold conditions at the Mackenzie Delta. Though the sun is peeking over the horizon at the Pole, it is still so low the plume of milder air brought north by the Kara low swiftly cools, but a new plume starts coming north from the Pacific through Bering Strait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Missing maps) By March 27 the Beaufort High is strung out and weakened, and its contrast with general low pressure on the Siberian side has created a Pacific-to-Atlantic cross-polar-flow. Alarmists were noting mild temperatures (for March) over the Pole, but Inuit communities in the Canadian Archipelago were experiencing record-setting cold.

 

 

 

(Missing maps) By March 29 a storm over Hudson Bay started pumping the cold air south, to begin building an April that had  record-setting cold in parts of North America. The Beaufort High was rebuilding, but centered with cold and calm over the Mackenzie Delta.

 

 

 

By March 31 the cross-polar-flow from Pacific to Atlantic is temporarily reestablished, again with south winds over Bering Strait and calm over the Mackenzie Delta. But the high over Alaska is building out into Bering Strait, and mild air will draw the low from over East Siberia towards Alaska, interrupting the flow.

 

 

 

This third plume of milder air coming north over Alaska creates low pressure at the Pole (AKA “Ralph”) as well as north winds at the Mackenzie Delta.

 

 

And at this point, right when things were getting interesting, DMI stopped producing its maps. At first I thought it was routine maintenance, and then that the good fellow who creates the maps was on a well-deserved vacation, and then that perhaps he retired without training a replacement. I was miserable. You never know what you’ve got ’til its gone. Also April was not at all spring-like, where I live in New Hampshire. Life was not happy.

I decided to switch over to the Dr. Ryan Maue maps produced over at the Weatherbell site. However they lack the simplicity of the DMI maps. Not that there is anything wrong with detail, but….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In any case, a weaker version of the Beaufort high  brought south and southeast winds over much of the coast of Alaska, pushing ice off shore, but again not so much at the Mackenzie delta. Also some weak versions of “Ralph” flirted with low pressure at the Pole. Then I noticed DMI was back in business.

It is notable that the darker blues are gone from the temperature map. This creates the appearance of “warming”, but in fact the Pole is simply losing heat less rapidly. The sun is still too low to overpower the heat lost to outer space, as can be seen when a plume of milder air moves up from the south. It still cools, despite being in sunshine twenty-four hours a day.

 

Weak cross-polar-flow from Pacific to Atlantic persists. Sea-ice shifts south in Barents Sea, and west in East Siberian Sea.  A low moves into the Kara Sea, and again a plume of milder air pushes north ahead of it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Kara Sea low crawls on to the Laptev Sea, and the plume of warm air ahead of it is notable. The polar flow is from Siberia to Canada. Off the map, it is very cold in the north of USA, with spring much delayed.

 

The Laptev Sea Low’s warm plume is a sort of feeder band which eventually fuels a weak “Ralph” low pressure at the Pole, as the Beaufort High weakens.

 

 

 

The weak “Ralph” continues on into the Canadian Archipelago and then the Beaufort High rebuilds slightly, as weak Atlantic lows roll east along Russia’s arctic coast.

 

Winds are slowing to more summer-like levels, as there is less if a clash in temperatures. A very lazy cross-polar-flow ambles from Pacific to Atlantic, but at long last this pattern starts to change., as low pressure develops in Baffin Bay and then battles over the top of Greenland.

 

 

 

As the low finishes its transit and starts to redevelop off the east coast of Greenland, another low is forming in the Kara Sea. As a buffer if high pressure forms between the two lows, we see wring-way winds from the South, stopping the export of sea-ice in Fram Srait, but a wrong-way north wind in Barents Sea, causing sea-ice to expand south at a time it usually retreats north. These wrong-way winds utterly screw up the careful calculations of sea-ice fanatics everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At this point the two lows have created two mild plumes, one north through Fram Strait and one north through the Laptev Sea, fueling a quasi “Ralph” north of Greenland.

 

(Missing maps) The Laptev low fades, and as high pressure build over the Russian coast we have a reversed flow over the pole, From Atlantic to Pacific.

 

 

A sizable plume of milder air is brought north over Svalbard, which experiences a thaw. However despite the fact it is a week into May the plume of mild air chills in the following maps. The relative warmth of sunshine, sea-water and imported air is still not quite enough to match the heat lost to outer space.

I should confess I was not expecting the plume, nor the feeder band forming a weak version of “Ralph”. Please forget my forecast of the La Nina causing a more zonal pattern. Didn’t happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though the plume did give above-normal temperatures at the Pole, that heat was lost and temperatures dropped back to near normal.

 

 

I conclude these maps with a tight little low forming east of Svalbard, and a small Baffin Bay Basher, but for the most part the arctic tranquil and summer-like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d comment more, but having this many maps seems to be taxing the capacity of WordPress and I’m afraid this whole post will crash. So I’ll add more with a separate post.

THE GODLESS CHURCH

Godless 1280px-The_Hanging_by_Jacques_Callot

God withdrew sweet Love, and I saw how cheap
And mean-minded our church then became.
Godless, our minds swiftly became as deep
As the River Platte. Just wicks without flame,
All grabs and all wants, without any shame,
We had no sweet Love for any but ourselves
And all we had to give brothers was blame.
Deeper truths became musty books left on shelves
And the small truth we saw was selected
To accent our side of our crafty greed
And was tirelessly honed, perfected,
As if vanity was a cute pet to feed.
Unless God returns, then the egos we trust
Will make church a garden of growing disgust.

Christianity is full of errors to repent for. A group of evangelists set up a clever booth at a local fair with a large sign reading “confessional” over its door. When curious people entered, perhaps expecting to find a priest who might hear them confess about how they over-did their drinking the night before, they instead heard Christians confess about 2000 years of blunders. It was behavior in sharp contrast to the holier-than-thou behavior many expect from Christians.

It is due to these failures that Christianity is constantly attempting reforms, as churches attempt to “revive” the Spirit seen in the early church. This often creates trouble between the orthodox and those who desire reform. In Europe awful battles have occurred between Protestants and Catholics. The gruesome picture that heads this post dates from the Thirty Years War, (1618-1648), when 8 million people died in Central Europe (during a time when populations were far lower.)

In some ways I think it is out of disgust over the failure of Christians to obey Christ that some turn away from Christianity altogether, and attempt to define goodness in some New Age manner. In many ways such “goodness” is a copy of what Jesus taught, and is a plagiarism of scripture, leaving out any inconvenient mentions of the Author.

This creates a big problem, because the Creator makes it clear in scripture we are lost without Him. Our egos are a problem, and in some ways are the  problem, yet there is no way we can handle forces outside of our limited selves without an ego. The ego is like a boat we are using to cross a raging river, but as long as we are in the boat we can’t step ashore onto a Promised Land. We are all in the same boat(s), and all share the same plight, and (according to scripture) all our our best efforts to become free of our predicament are doomed to failure, for we are so attached to our boats we can only row in circles. Only the Master can walk on water and lead us to shore.

In New England the little towns were initially set up by people seeking to flee the holocaust of the Thirty Years War in the early 1600’s. The church was a central point in town. However, in the four hundred years since, the church has fallen out of favor, and many see it as backwards and oppressive, and prefer a secular idea of “goodness.” This secular idea of goodness contains some attempts at “fairness” that are as difficult to realize as any commandments in the Bible. (For example, the idea that all deserve a trophy for “participating”, and that it is somehow evil to reward success because it makes those who fail feel like failures, even though they are failures.)

Now we are witnessing secular idealism fall flat on its face, in some ways even more spectacularly than Christianity fell flat on its face. Some people want to return to the church, but they seem to prefer the so-called “mega-church” to the small-town “community church”.  In New England only some 2% attend a “local” church.

The local church has a bad reputation of holding snobs. It matters little if it is Conservative or Liberal, you are unwelcome if you don’t kowtow to some concept of “correctness”.

One then has to think hard  about what differentiates a church from a country club. After all, many of the same concepts apply. A country club needs to recruit a certain number of “paying members”, and the people attending have to agree to be nice to each other. Why should a country club have to pay taxes, where a church gets a write-off?

The difference should be that a church holds God. But this leads to the next question.

Does it really?

This must be answered on an individual basis, and at times can be difficult due to the modern concept that seeks immediate gratification, and seems to assume the only sign of God’s presence is a pack of people as blissed-out as people at country club sipping champagne.

In actual fact there is no participation trophy for church. When you bungle and fail, you may be brought to your senses by a look of disapproval from on High. Some of the greatest revivals began with a rebuke.

 

 

 

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Final Surge–

This is just a quick note in a notebook, observing a somewhat unusual occurrence up at the Pole.  A surge of Atlantic air was flung north right over the Pole, which is a phenomenon I usually associate with darkness and mid-winter.

The occurrance  shows up nicely in the DMI temperature-isotherm maps of the Pole. What I call a “feeder-band” of mild air is pulled north, and makes the North Pole warmer than lands (mostly tundra) further south. But what happens to the warm air when it gets there? [May 8, 00Z to left, May 8 12z (12 hours later) right.]

[May 9, 00z left, May 9 12z (12 hours later) right.]

Judging from the -5° isotherm, a large area of imported “warm” air is shrinking. What is happening to that “warmth”? (I put warmth in quotes because -5°C is not all that warm). How can such air lose heat when the sun is now up 24 hours a day, up that far north?

The answer is that the sun is not yet high enough to truly counter the heat lost to outer space.

If you need help imagining how this is possible, think of temperatures in your own neighborhood between the hottest part of a summer day, and later in the afternoon when the sun is still hot in your face, but the temperatures are starting to drop. The sun is no longer high enough to keep temperatures as high as they were. The loss of heat to outer space is making inroads. (Otherwise temperatures would keep rising until the sun set.)

At the Pole the sun is not yet really high enough. It is low on the horizon, though higher every day. Until roughly May 21, it is not high enough to keep temperatures from dropping, though it is up twenty-four hours a day. What it does do is keep temperatures from dropping as far as they would otherwise drop.

To envision this, imagine the situation in your own neighborhood at the end of a sweltering summer night. The temperatures have dropped all night (though perhaps not enough for your comfort) and then the short night ends and the sun rises. The thermometer does not show an immediate rise. Rather the drop of temperatures slows, stops, and only as the sun rises to a certain height that you see  temperatures rise.

In other words, the ongoing loss-of-heat-to-outer-space continues, and the increasing heat of the rising sun’s sunshine must surpass it, before temperatures actually rise.

Currently the sun at the Pole is not yet high enough to surpass the heat-lost-to-outer-space. Consequently, any Atlantic heat imported to the Pole will not be warmed by 24-hour-a=day sunshine, but be cooled, at least until roughly May 21. And the above DMI isotherm maps prove what I say is true.

You can see the lost-to-outer-space dip, in the DMI map of temperatures at the Pole:

DMI5 0509 meanT_2018

I have a suspicion that losing so much heat (without melting a single berg) will have consequences in terms of forecasts made by both Alarmists and Skeptics,  but I dare not forecast myself. Instead I will sit back and

Stay tuned,

MOONLIGHT SONNET

The moon stooped and peered in to my pillow
Like a dear friend I hadn’t seen in years,
An angel who children talk to, but grow
To forget. Not druid, beyond all fears,
A power acquainted with the King’s court
And yet at home with urchins on the street,
The moon dropped in to see me, and report
That nothing had changed, and all is still sweet
In heaven. The King is still King. The world
In all its madness may say otherwise,
But the King is still King. So I then curled
And could have slept in a child’s peace, but my eyes
Were filled with moonlight, so I arose
To spread the news to you, as others doze.

LOCAL VIEW –Chickweed–

It may seem a bit cynical to say so, but sometimes I feel people need a bit of hell to appreciate heaven. One never appreciates sleeping past dawn as much as they do the first day boot camp is done. For this reason God may appear as cruel as a drill sergeant, or as callous as a surgeon who cuts to heal, until the moment one experiences being healed.

Spring is like a vast healing overtaking the entire earth, and defying the ordinary state of affairs where we see things get worn out. Ordinarily we expect stuff to get old and become obsolete and broken. Spring holds the bliss of a contrary way. I think that, in northern lands, people would become completely intoxicated and become quite useless and be unable to plant crops, and therefore God created biting black flies, to remind us we are not in heaven yet.

This spring seems especially beautiful because it took so long to get started. The daffodils seem especially perfect, because they had to wait so long to bloom they are not bitten by late frosts.

Chickweed 1 IMG_6746

It has happened with stunning speed. One day I was spreading salt on the snowy walk and the next I am mowing grass. The road crews have flipped from plowing to putting up the Memorial Day flags.

Chickweed 5 FullSizeRender

The stark landscape is gentled too swiftly for the mind to capture or fully grasp.

Wherever you turn there are beautiful views, until I had trouble arriving on time because I had to stop so often to snap pictures of places I usually drove by without noticing.

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And sometimes I feel I took a wrong turn and entered a new world. (Or perhaps a right turn.)

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I’m two weeks late planting peas and potatoes and onions, but even in the garden I get reminders of healing. Among last year’s dead corn grows a mat of chickweed.

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I did not labor to plant this crop, with its tiny blooms.

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The old-timers said it was a cure for winter-dried skin and winter-clogged lungs. I gathered a gallon for dinner, (it shrinks a lot when boiled), musing to myself about how spring heals.

The more you draw, the farther the arrow flies,
And the more spring is delayed, the bluer
Are its skies, the greater your surprise,
As if you were a man who stepped from sewer
To paradise, or a damsel seeing a hero
Step from a gorilla disguise. Not all shock
Is trauma. Leaping to jackpot from zero
May drop gamblers, but winter’s thorny stalk
produced a rose of such sweet aroma
That scent became solid, a strange staircase
Climbing from garden through clouds, and such awe
Overwhelmed that no words can describe the place
Where ones mood climbed, except the poor word “bliss”.
Where one once was a worm: Metamorphosis.