Here we are, in the shortest days of the year. With not much more than eight hours of daylight each day, many of us spend at least some of our waking hours in the dark.
Outside, as we observe tracks in the snow, we realize that most of those tracks are made in the dark. The deer and other wildlife seem to flock to areas where there is food available and tend to do it under cover of darkness. Snowmobilers enjoy riding in the evening hours after the regular work day. Farmers’ regular long work days extend into the darkness. The good news is that now the trend begins to turn as days gradually lengthen.
Winter in the North Country brings with it some of the most unique scenes. Sundogs at sunrise, followed by icicles in the sky. Labrador Retrievers revel in their job, and who doesn’t relish the idea of sticking their arm into an active muskrat house. Winter in Flyover Country, what a blast.
One thing is certain in Minnesota as we look outside today. There will be a long season of black and white. Around our house the dog will track in the white snow on this paws and will shed his black hair.
As we enter the Christmas season we can also count on the blackness of sin and chaos in the world, but also thankfully the message of the Christ Child will bring the white message of His forgiveness and love.
Gene R. Stark
A teacher, farmer, trapper, and greenhouse grower. He writes about the outdoors and the people and culture of rural America..