It is a rugged, northern beauty. The sun rises across the river, just over the shoulder of the mountain. These are old mountains, not much more than hills after millenia and millenia and millenia of weather. We are on a spur of the Appalachians, on the southern edge of the great boreal forest.
Today the snow is blowing outof the trees, the birches shaking and lashing about. Visibility on the highway will be very low in places, even when the storm is over. I am not tempted to go out.
What was it like for our ancestors here, three hundred years ago? They had more winter work than I do. There were the animals to feed, wood to carry in to the fireplace, meals to prepare from stored and dried stocks. Their diet didn’t have much variety in it through the winter months. Water had to be brought from an open spring – not really a problem in this country, except in keeping the spring basin clear of snow. Churches were few and at a great distance. Families expected to make their devotions at home most of the time.
I realize that we are in that same place in many ways. Fuel is too expensive to burn except in necessity; we travel very little. We keep a fairly plain diet, so as to utilize food that is cheap and plentiful and keeps well. Would we be happier and more fulfilled living in a town or village? Would we socialize more and change our almost monotonous diet?
In some ways it would be good to see other people more often, to get to church every week, to have a little variety. But we wouldn’t have these wild sunrises and the trees for neighbours. We wouldn’t be sitting on the banks of one of the continen’ts most impressive nordic rivers. We might even be distracted from our time of prayer, thought and study.
I think we will stay here, God willing.