Today I walked out of my study into the living room as clouds of exhaust were billowing up from the laundry room creating brilliant pastel oranges.
Both images were taken at about 4:30 pm from our living room that overlooks the parking lot to the west. While the winter likely has a good month and a half or more left up here in Grand Forks, I think I can tell that the days are getting longer (perhaps I am just an optimist). There is hope in small measures that suggest our greater hope.
Today it is bitterly cold as wind from the north has swept in bringing a storm that shut down the lower part of the state for a while. I am thankful that it missed us and allowed Karina's brother and sister-in-law to get off on time this morning for their return trip to Springside SK.
Despite the cold, snow, wind, ice, frozen extremities, weary automobiles, blown-in sidewalks and stairs, there is an austere beauty here that I've not experienced elsewhere on the prairies in Iowa or South Dakota. For all the frustration and annoyances of living in the north during the winter (and we really are not that far north), there is an unmistakable beauty for the winter hearty willing to see.
Kathleen Norris writes in her weather report for February 10 in Dakota says, "at the breath of God's mouth the waters flow. Spring seems far off, impossible, but it is coming." Today, as I trudged across campus, cheeks bitten by the cold, each expired breath rose in clouds of praise to our Creator for the beauty of the north.