Saturday, March 27, 2010

March: A Last Look at Winter

According to the weather data published Friday on the Holden website, the Village has received 230 inches of snow this season. Of that amount, 62 inches remain on the ground.

While the amount of remaining snow is significant, it becomes more obvious each and every day that winter is slowly, but surely, being replaced by spring.

Before we celebrate the unfurling of the ferns on the forest floor and before we rejoice in the rhubarb pushing upward through the dirt in the rhubarb beds, it is time to take one last look at winter. Winter as we see it in March.

Snow continues to be mounded up against the buildings. Moving about the village is still restricted to pathways tramped out in the accumulated snow, but there are many more days now with truly fabulous blue skies and an ever-increasing amount of sunlight during any given day.

From their place in an office window on the back side of Koinonia, three indoor plants (three winter-ravaged indoor plants) soak up the mid-day sunlight.

White smoke pouring from the chimney of Koinonia in the early morning hours does not mean that there is a new Pope. It means that stoking the wood furnace inside Koinonia is still a necessity in keeping the building warm. The entrance to the Craft Cave remains completely blocked by snow accumulated there, mostly by roof-a-lanches.

Early morning frost highlights the hand rail of the covered bridge.

The ice dam formed during the winter across Railroad Creek is still in place but is diminishing in size and in the amount of water that must still find its way underneath. During the late hours of the morning, the dam receives, for the first time in months, a limited amount of direct sunlight.

The entrance to Koinonia remains banked on either side with snow that has been removed from the path leading in and from the road.

Heavy snowfalls are not uncommon. Sun-seekers brought out the summer's Adirondack chairs a bit too early, and sun worship had to be curtailed while the chairs fill with snow.

Soon now, the great and sustained melt-off will begin. For the moment, all is covered in snow...still.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stepping Out in Falling Snow

Step out
In falling snow
Onto a path
Committed already
To memory
Against the time
I will
No longer
Walk it.

I marvel
To see
How the familiar
Has become transformed,
How the old
Has been made new.

I rejoice
In all the angularities
And all the edges
With the cover,
To seek the curve.

I take pleasure
In the exhalation
Of frosty breath,
And am embraced
By the soundlessness
Of icy air.

Step out
In falling snow
Onto a path
Committed already
To memory
Against the time
I will
No longer
Walk it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Breakers

At the Wednesday evening Compline service, all was peaceful and quiet. The chant was beautifully cantored by Keri Welch and the reading of Psalm 27 was admirably rendered by Alice Closmore.

A Compline service is not your usual setting for students on their spring break, but neither is Holden Village your usual spring break destination. While their friends were working on sun tans in more southerly places, these students quickly integrated themselves into the rhythms of community life. They
were a part of a group from Collegeville, MN from the campuses of St. Benedict and St. John's Colleges.

Holden village volunteer Gordy Ericson finished his construction of the cross to go into the center of the fire ring at Koinonia. Long term staff member Claire Hoffman supervised St. Benedict students Hannah Newman and Rachel Stobb in the application of stain on the piece. The cross was used for the first time at the Compline service that very evening.

Work does not begin at Holden until the "Potty Patrol" has been thoroughly searched for the appropriate work clothes. Here Kia Lor looks over the offerings to be found in one of the favorite spots in the village.

Yama Moua takes a turn replenishing the firewood stacked for future use in "Dante," the furnace used to heat many of the chalets. Holden's new Business Manager, Janeen Smith, appreciates the extra help on her assigned stoking duty.

Although the students worked on many different projects while they were here, one of the biggest was the complete remodel of "the walk-in," the main refrigerated room just off the kitchen. As the walls of "the walk-in" were torn away, the group's sponsor, Trish Dick, pulled nails from the boards that had been removed.

Inside "the walk-in" Yama Moua helps to remove the boards that from the sides of the room.

Ben DeMarais also spent considerable time working in the remodel of "the walk-in."

The floor in the entryway of Koinonia was in the process of being completed when the students arrived. They very willingly got down on their hands and knees to help in the application of the grout. Collin Motschke became an expert with the sponge in working on this project.

Hannah Newman and Angie Ebben also worked on the Koinonia floor.

Kerri Welch and Steve Lubner, assigned to help the "Mavericks" in any one of a number of maverick tasks, move sheets of plywood across the snow and onto the porch of the dining hall.

Kia Lor and Rachel Stobb unload the sheets of plywood from the back of the snow vehicle called "The Imp."

Even from her assigned post in the dish pit, Lindsay Ganong is able to smile.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chalet 3 in before sunrise. Most of the residents of Chalet 3 are still asleep. Those who have kitchen duty for the breakfast shift are already at work, but early morning peace and quiet prevail.

Also in just before the sun disappears for the day behind Copper Mountain. ..a different sight in front of Chalet 3.

The residents of Chalet 3, creative thinkers all, plant various and sundry chairs from within atop the mountain of roof-a-lanche snow and assume the sunning position to absorb the day's last rays of direct sunlight. (Left to right: Amanda Brown, Brett Olson, Chris Tou, Lee Wells, John Chiles, and Mariel Vinge.)

A good time was had by all.