Friday, January 09, 2009

Let it snow

in an early hour,

when all is dark and blue,

i wonder how to be this still.

when the clamor

of the day already intrudes,

rude in the sweet quiet.

i slip on a coat,

a hat to deaden the inner din,

a scarf to silence my mouth.

in the frozen grey

i gasp to the chill, my breath

floats in midair, like my question.

looking to the sky,

i wait for a cloud to fly, while

one lands perfect on my sleeve.

squint now - it is so intricate.

i ponder the six-sided wonder,

something not wrought by me.

and soon they whirl free,

an answer coming out of that wind -

a mitten quick clapped over my lips.

woolly-white clings

to my sullen, soiled garments

till perfect light covers all my dark.

oh, the abundant pardons!

i’m bundled from head to toe

in this blustery joy.

then falling unafraid,

i join with the other angels,

arms and legs waving praise.


After nearly three years with not so much as an inch of snow in which to squeeze snow angel, we were blessed with an abundance this year. And in three different countries: Germany, the USA (Minnesota), and Paris, of all places! If this is what climate change is all about, I'm all about it. Here's an account of our first encounter.

Three tickets bought at a good price plus a whole lot of anticipation, with a healthy dose of Christmas excitement thrown on top: our first trip to Germany. On a whim, we bet on a city that none of us knew and won big. Freibourg is a small city just over the French border, about 4 hours' journey from Paris, and on the western edge of the Schwarzwald. A friend of ours, Diana, did some investigation, and it appeared as if the Weihnachstmakt (Christmas market) was especially nice there. She ought to know - it's her country. She grew up in East-Germany, however. This would be her first time to a region that was more or less verboten when she was a kid. It just so happened that we knew some mutual friends from our church in Paris, who were able to host us and help us around a bit. There's nothing quite like the family of God. Maybe you think I'm crazy, but I'm convinced there's something particularly wonderful about eating Schwartzwalder Kirschetorte with people who love the Lord Jesus.


We arrived in this charming town of Freibourg around lunch, just in time to start diving into the food and bier with ardor. The first stop was a Gasthaus (literally, guest house) - establishments that used to provide room and board back in the day, but have sine become restaurants with hearty, down-home cooking. We devoured steaming plates of Spatzle and Schnitzel, and a bowl of Gulaschsuppe and washed it down with the local pils. Now, in France, wine has a bouquet. In Germany, the beer has a flower. What a blessed continent. And as much as I love my vin francais, I have come to the conclusion that a Warsteiner with a decent blume can certainly be a comparable experience. The longer and stranger the words grew, the more delicious the food! And we devoured the language with as much enjoyment as the tasty comestibles. Bratwurst, dampfnudelen, name it, we tried it.

Saturday was a dream. We took a train further into the Black Forest, which was (ironically) white with fresh snowfall. After a picknick in der Sohne, we strapped on some cross-country skis, and explored the territory. Breathtaking views, staggering walls of pines covered in fairy dust, and well-groomed trails that wove us in and out of ancient stands of trees. A truly magical day. Das ist schon hier.

I think we'll be back. Like, in February. And more about our snow adventures soon. Watch out, Abbey is back on the blogging scene.

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