Thursday, January 22, 2009

"The earth is like a child that knows poems."
Rainer Maria Rilke

It is little wonder that carnival comes in the darkest days of winter. What else can we do when the sun sets so early and rises so late, and the icy grey outdoors insists that we add rum to coffee to ward off the chill? We must celebrate! Meat must be eaten extravagantly, liquor drunk indulgently, and laughter and music must be loud enough to make even the cold nights warm.

I spend most of my days indoors now, baking bread and carnival indulgences or writing in the blue room with tea and toast beside me. Because I am so often inside, my excursions in the snow have taken on a thrill of adventure. In my long coat and high boots I feel almost equal to the biting wind and the snow drifts that would overwhelm me if I dared walk through them. My winter walks chill and exhilarate me, afterwards the apartment is warmer and cozier than I left it, the tea tastier, and the toast, with it’s film of melted butter, beyond compare. I cannot imagine being less than enthralled with the bounteous variety of life, as I’ve recently discovered, some in our Środowisko are. When God presents us with an opportunity to see, to experience beauty in some form or another, we must not pass it by because literature, modern art, or hiking are not our passions! God does not limit His gift of beauty to those whose thoughts fall within certain parameters, and many people are able to grasp beauty to a certain degree without having met the Author of beauty; in many ways they come closer to knowing Him than those who, claiming to love Him, despise His wilder expressions of joy.

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