“…wind through some dense copse…”

Many thanks for this to the Laudator Temporis Acti… for this and for something else he sent me recently!

Charles Burchfield, Journal (Feb. 22, 1912):

    Everyone is complaining about it. "Is it cold enough for you?" (most common); "This is the worst yet"; "I hoped we wouldn’t have any more of it"; "Hope it don’t last long"; etc. are among the common deprecatory remarks. I love it; I love a blizzard more than a calm winter day. I love nature in her wildest mood. A blizzard, a windy day, a thunderstorm—all of them I love. To experience any one of them is a veritable housecleaning of the mind; some of the dash and spirit of the wind enters into us; on such days we could conquer the world if necessary. Perhaps a calm quiet day has the same effect on someone else. For me, let me have a wild ragged sky, an icy wind, and some snow, and I am content.

    What I would not give to be out in the woods on days like this! The roaring of the wind through some dense copse would be the most enjoyable thing imaginable.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Irenaeus says:

    Amen. I once had the pleasure of hiking in a heavy snowstorm in Oslo. Good stuff! Of course, there’s always a place for retreating afterwards to somewhere warm with something good to drink.

  2. David says:

    Yip. There’s nothing more mindcleaning than digging my car out of snow bank after failing to make the turn into my driveway. There’s nothing like spending an hour lunch break grappling with Nature and a half ton of iron and plastic while dressed in office attire, not to mention in windchill of 0 degrees Fahrenheit! Nothing brings that refreshing winter contentment like that! Why I even was able to see a dense copse not that far away, of course, that is, until another blast of arctic wind blew enough snow in my face to freeze the back of my eyeballs.

    I missed lunch, but at least I made it back to the office so I could enjoy a nice lukewarm cup of stale coffee.

    But, hey! Who’s complaining?

  3. Kathleen says:

    Out in the woods, yes.
    Driving in rush hour, no.

  4. Andreas says:

    Having lived through hurricane Andrew, the door bending in the wind like an old harmonica, the horizontal rain finding its way into the house through any crack, the roof tiles getting peeled away one by one by the brute force (pop, whiz, crash, howl) with my pregnant wife crouching in the corner surrounded by our frightened kids – yes – I too enjoy a windy day, just, pray Lord it doesn’t get too strong …

  5. Nan says:

    David, a winchill of a mere zero degrees Fahrenheit? Your actual temperature must be in double digits above zero. Try five below with windchills between -19 and -29 Fahrenheit and getting colder overnight.

  6. PMcGrath says:

    Hearing mention of Charles Burchfield brought back memories of my college days at SUNY College at Buffalo. Burchfield lived most of his life in the area (though he was from Ohio), and “Buff State” has a major portion of his works at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center on campus.

    Still, Burchfield’s words to the contrary — I hate cold. In western New York, not only do you have to deal with cold, you also have Lake Effect snowstorms. You don’t want to deal with that.

    I think there was a reason why Dante put Satan in the center of the Inferno, not in a fire, but in a Great Lake of solid ice.

  7. Denise says:

    Yes, “lake effect” I believe I saw the joyful effects of that today–what exhilaration, driving through the swirling snow, on a sheet of ice! What a thrill veering amongst the semis, careening in joyous abandon about on the ice. Winter, I must aver, is not my favorite season–and my new experience of lake effect weather is confirming me in that opinion. (copses are not in short supply up here either; but they are failing to entice me into their icy interiors)

  8. Cory says:

    In the summer, I get in my car and I go. No worries. In winter, I gotta wipe the snow off, or if there’s no snow, the ice. Then, I gotta get the heater to heat up my car, which takes 5 minutes. Then I gotta drive slow so as not to careen out of control. Gee, which season you think is better? People who like winter are crazy. Support Global Warming I say.

  9. Derik says:

    Cory said “Support Global Warming I say”.

    There must be a better way.

  10. Lucy says:

    Well, all I can say is that if you live in sunny California, as I’m currently forced to do, you might not be as happy. Day after day of dreary skies in winter, and day after day of 110 degree heat in summer (Fresno). Oh, the joys. I think a good cold snap out here might bring some of the ridiculous ideas people here have, to a halt. They have nothing else to think about but how to mess up other people’s lives. How else does one explain San Francisco or Los Angeles ? Day in, day out, of no apparent weather of any kind. BORING. I’ll gladly trade with anyone east of California ! (That is, if you can entice my husband to leave his native state.

  11. Analogous to Saint Francis’ take on nature, praising the obedience of God’s creation even while we die as corpses for the sin of Adam, and our own. Good one, Fr Z.

  12. MJS says:

    Up here in the frozen north, we’ve had air temps approaching -40 F. These usually occur, however, on calm days of brilliant sunshine. If you’re adequately prepared with warm clothes (and handwarmers and footwarmers don’t hurt), these can be the most exhilarating times of the whole year — especially when the landscape is covered with a 2-foot blanket of snow.

  13. MJS says:

    Please excuse me. Let me try that one more time:

    Up here in the frozen north, we’ve had air temps approaching minus 40 degrees F. These usually occur, however, on calm days of brilliant sunshine. If you’re adequately prepared with warm clothes (and handwarmers and footwarmers don’t hurt), these can be the most exhilarating times of the whole year, especially when the landscape is covered with a 2 foot blanket of snow.

  14. Ohio Annie says:

    Two words: studded tires (where legal). Oh, that’s four words. Sorry.

    Ah, Ann against nature. Love it.

  15. jarhead462 says:

    I concur. I work in an office with a bunch of people who whine about how cold they are, then beg for the thermostat to be cranked up to 72! I wear short sleeves all year ’round because if I put on a nice sweater, I would melt away. GRRRR!

    I love a good storm!
    Semper Fi!

  16. Denis Crnkovic says:

    I am crazy. I moved to Minnesota for the winters. I love to shovel snow. I get upset when the temperature goes above freez.., no… goes above 10. Global warming is the work of the devil. MJS has it right: there are few things more stunning than a landscape, or a city scape even, covered in white! And for those who complain about having to drive too slowly, well, God has the most interesting ways of getting us to slow down and contemplate His creation.

    City Snow

    In city streets and filthy yards
    the coward shouts and carnal smoke
    are all contained by arrow sharp,
    symmetric snows,
    silenced so the night performs
    with St Anthony\’s bells
    and distant chanting pines.
    From far the musky cowbarns crack
    and split in their creaking sleep
    and madly hover about the nose;
    and farther yet — or maybe it\’s above —

    faintly squeal the verses
    of the younger John\’s Apocalypse.

    I think my coveralls have warmed up enough now on the radiator. I am headed out to shovel the walk and the front stoop.

  17. Ann says:

    I enjoy a good storm, but my favorite time is after a snow-storm when the morning comes and the sun hits all that white–and you have to get out the snow goggles to go outside or it could make you go blind–and amazingly it is dry in the cold so it feels less cold than it is, so the pleasure in the morning is intense.

    I love winter!

  18. btb says:

    I am one who loves a cold, snowy winter, and I miss my Minnesota days greatly. Perhaps my favorite quotation regarding the season of winter comes from Samuel Johnson: “The nakedness and asperity of the wintry world always fills the beholder with pensive and profound astonishment: as the variety of the scene is lessened, its grandeur is increased; and the mind is swelled at once by the mingled ideas of the present and the past, of the beauties which have vanished from the eyes, and the waste and desolation that are now before them.”
    Johnson: Rambler #80 (December 22, 1750)

  19. I live in Buffalo, where Charles Burchfield lived, and I’m happy to say I am friends with his daughter, who is a wonderful painter in her own right. Even though it is supposed to be zero degrees here tomorrow I agree with Burchfield that winter is inspiring (though Kathleen up above in the comments has a point, it’s nicer if you don’t have to drive). One thing, the howling winds and the wind chimes sure beat the noise of pounding boom cars that we get all summer in Buffalo. That is for sure! p.s. for everyone out there in WDTPRS-land, Charles Burchfield’s daughter became a Catholic last year. She was very excited about that.

  20. Matt says:

    Does anyone know how to contact Michael Gilleland of the Laudator Temporis Acti blog? I know he’s something of a loner and probably wouldn’t want to hold my hand during the Our Father, but I am really wanting to contact him….his blog has meant a lot to me and I am reading his entire archives.



  21. mysticalrose says:

    Give me 90 degrees and 90% humidity and I’m happy as a clam. Anything lower than 60 and I’m chilly! I am a big fan of global warming.

  22. koningwoning says:

    For all who say something as stupid as – I am a big fan of global warming.
    Think flooding like Noah.
    Think destruction of a lot of animal and plant species.
    Think man destroying God’s planet.
    Now please, think again about what you say.

    To all complaining about cars not working etc. Why not lobby for better public transport… that way you won’t have that problem.

  23. jarhead462 says:

    Man does not cause any supposed “warming” to say that we can control the constantly fluctuating global temprature is the height of arrogance.

    Semper Fi!

  24. jarhead462 says:

    that would be “Temperatures”….typing too fast :)

    Semper Fi!

  25. Charivari Rob says:

    Ah, yes. I suppose the following would be one vote in agreement with Burchfield, and two against.


  26. Charivari Rob says:

    Sorry. Ignore the sign-in stuff – just scroll to the bottom of the page.

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