Yes, this hurricane is certainly a force of nature!
March is the cruelest month of the year. Whereas January and February offer no hope at all for warmth and sun, and only offer instead two months of cold and darkness, March at least teases us with the hope of warmer weather, and longer days. Now, the longer days are guaranteed, but the warmer weather (at least consistently warmer) is not. We still must wait a few more weeks for the delightful rebirth of nature. March is a good month to teach us patience.
So, here is a nice image to remind us that spring will eventually arrive, and with the arrival of spring, all the beauty that spring can offer.
Although Winter in general can be a difficult period, with cold and ice and snow and constant darkness dampening the spirit, it does nevertheless possess its particular beauties. One of those is the Winter Solstice, the one day of year when the day is at its shortest, and the night at its longest. After December 21 the days will slowly start to become longer, and more and more light will once again begin to infuse our world.
There is a strange joy at this time of the year. Part of it is Christmas, which is inextricably woven into the ancient, Northern European pagan festivals surrounding the Winter Solstice. For those who have their ancestry in the Northern, (Slavic, Celtic and Germanic) world, there is some deeply embedded memory of the old customs that our forefathers celebrated this time of the year and in times and places now far off and nearly vanished.
“Look at that dim, late afternoon sun,” my grandfather once said to me years ago on a frigid day in late December while traveling through his old farmland in Pembroke NH, a land his family had lived on since the early to mid 1600’s. It must have been a sentiment expressed by many an Anglo-Saxon, Germanic man for millennia. Such a sentiment was part of his historical DNA.
The New England forests, and the hard, Yankee life of earlier generations was similar in many way to the ancient lives of ancient peoples in Northern Europe. Cold, ice and snow, a harsh climate and limited growing season were many of the hardships people had to endure to survive. The darkness of Winter, the isolated farmer eking out a meager living, and the strength of family bonds in such an environment were part of the overall atmosphere that permeated such worlds as Northern Europe or traditional Yankee New England.
So yes, the Winter Solstice offers many kind of beauties, and one of those is the knowledge that it is a time, and a festive time at that, which has been appreciated and celebrated by countless of our ancestors for countless centuries.
Let’s make sure in this age of toxic Cultural Marxism which seeks to destroy all that is good, true and beautiful, and wipe heritage America from all historical memory, that we do our best to defend and preserve our historical heritage.
Summer is a time of warmth and beauty and happiness. We all love being warm. We all love light. We all love the ease and freedom that seems to flourish during summer. It is the best time of the year.
Now that we are fast approaching the Autumnal Equinox, on Friday, we have officially reached the end of the Summer. On Friday, September 22 the Sun will be directly over the equator, and from that date until December 21, the Winter Solstice, the days in the Northern hemisphere will begin to become shorter, and the nights longer.
I prefer light to darkness, but the darkness of Fall has its own particular kind of beauty. Until that finally happens though, here is one last tribute to another Summer season as it fades into the shadows of Fall and finally disappears all together into the darkness of Winter.
Now that the vernal equinox has taken place, it is officially spring. This means, of course, that it is time for those exotic and mysterious creatures I enjoy so much, the nymphs, to emerge from their winter sleep. Finally, after a long winter, we can once again enjoy the beauty of these creatures.
Yes, the return of spring, and all its warmth and various beauty is quite delightful!
January is the worst month of the year: it is cold, dark and with little to look forward to, except the foreboding, icy depths of a long winter. At least in December you can anticipate and celebrate Christmas; February is a short month and leads into March, which, in many places, is when spring begins to really stir.
Now, we are still in the depths of winter, and there is plenty of cold and ice still to come, but February, at least for me, is a lot easier to bear than January.
So here is to saying goodbye to the worst month of the year, January, and looking forward to the fact that the warmth of spring is now one month closer!
Now that we are in the depths of January, it is good to remember that even winter possesses its own kind of beauty. Yes, it is cold and icy, and now that the happy joy and light of Christmas and New Year’s have passes, it seems there is nothing to look forward to until spring, which seems quite far off. Still, even in the darkest days of winter we can find beauty.
The above photo is quite nice, a stunning juxtaposition of a woman’s soft warmth enclosed within an exotic world of cold and ice. The forces of winter often bring strange and difficult changes in our environment. They do not last though, at least until the next ice age descends upon us.
Now, the ice princess is often a difficult creature to deal with, but we must work with what winter gives us…
There is so much hatred and ugliness in the world. Sometimes it is overwhelming. One cannot read any news these days without being bombarded with stories of the most sickening kind of violence. Where do we find peace, hope and love? Where do we find true beauty in the midst of so much depravity? This is a question for each individual to answer.
For me, I have once again found comfort in spirituality, in faith and belief in God. I have lived long enough to know what life is like without faith, and what life is like with faith. And, despite the numerous difficulties that necessarily go along with such beliefs, the life of faith is better.
Often I have extolled physical beauty: a beautiful landscape, a beautiful work of art, a beautiful woman. These are all important manifestations of God’s presence in our world. And yet there is another kind of beauty, an internal beauty that comes with faith. We can see this sometimes in others, we can feel their inner beauty refining the atmosphere about us, like a cool ocean breeze that softens the brutal intensity of a summer sun. Perhaps their faith is completely different from ours; and yet we feel something that is good in them, and we know that this goodness is a reflection of the eternal God. In the end, it is all a deep mystery.
Prayer is the gateway to such experiences. As Pope John Paul II used to say, “Without prayer we can do nothing”. Through prayer we can reach another world, a world unseen, but a world that is still as beautiful, if not more, than the physical world surrounding us. It is a different kind of beauty. It is a beauty that is lasting, untouched by corruption, free from the stains of violence and ugliness. It is beauty that stretches throughout space and time, reaching as far back into history as possible, and traveling far beyond the limits of the universe and into eternity. Our understanding can only hope to grasp one small part of this, and yet this one small part is so immense and profound that we could spend every waking moment contemplating it, and never come to any real or concrete understanding of its true essence. And yet the more we contemplate such beauty, the more we thirst for a deeper draught.
As the great St. Augustine said, “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new!”
Now we seem to live in a world which seems utterly devoid of prayer and faith in anything except whatever thrills the latest technological advancement brings. What is ugly and what is bizarre seem to be what are most valued. The iron laws of nature are ignored and we believe that we can declare ourselves to be whatever we want to be. And in those parts of the world where religious faith is strong, there seems to be a deep sickness and madness overcoming many. We live in strange times. Many of us wonder what is becoming of the world.
But in the end we remain, as Socrates once described us, “featherless bipeds”. Whether we like it or not, and no matter how much we may want to imagine otherwise or try to change what nature has ordained, or how much we are dazzled by our own cleverness and power, we are still creatures of this earth, dependent upon the earth, our fates completely intertwined with the natural world around us, and there is nothing we can ever do to change that. This is the way it has been since the first humans emerged from Africa 100,000 years ago, and this is the way it will remain until the end the time. In this age of technological wizardry and massive state controlled systems of life, it is important to remember just how quickly that technology can vanish, how industry, governments and even civilization itself could suddenly crumble, whether through natural or man made disasters, and how quickly we could return to being utterly dependent on ourselves, upon what we and grow from the earth or find through hunting for our survival. We ignore all this at our own peril.
And yet in all the difficulties of life, faith remains. Prayer remains. Our need for and belief in God remains. It is and always has been part of our human condition, despite the modern Western world’s best efforts to ignore this. And with faith and prayer there is beauty, a beauty that also provides the strength and sustenance to help us endure the vicissitudes of our everyday world, and perhaps that is the most powerful kind of beauty of all.