Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Winter in the North Country

We now are nearing the wintertime of the year here in Minnesota.  The days are getting shorter and the weather colder.  The last of the leaves are now gone on most of the trees, and we now see the animals near our home readying for the long winter ahead.  In Minnesota we have about 5 months of winter and snow.  During this time we see the animal coats turning from light brown to gray, and for some, white.  Along with these changes, their fur also gets coarser and thicker as a way to fend off the cold that comes with the long winter.  When looking out the window, we see many times the tracks of various animals in the snow, all heading to a predetermined destinations. 

During this time of year we also observe the last of the waterfowl heading south.  They are flying high in the sky, not seeming to have any desire to stop or rest.  They know instinctively that they must get as far south as possible in their quest for survival.  The eagles and birds of prey either stay close to the open water in the river, or they are seen heading further south where the water is open year round.  This makes it easier for them to catch their fish, and other water prey, all adding to their chances of survival.  Snowy owls will soon arrive from the north along with the ever-present snowbirds that come from the cold Artic Circle.  Birds such as the nuthatch, chickadee, sparrow, tufted tit mouse, and varied finches are now present at our feeders, all trying to stock up on food to gain the needed winter fat, all in an effort to weather the cold that is coming soon. 

Will enjoying his heritage.
In a conversation with my family over the last two weeks, we have talked about the people that predominately settled here in the North Country.  They were mostly from northern Europe and Scandinavia.  This area of the U.S. provides the climate that they were used to in their native countries.  It seems that many people from the more Mediterranean and tropical climates struggle to stay here in the North Country, especially in the winter.  The changes I imagine are perhaps too harsh in adapting to the drastic fluctuations in weather throughout the year.  Many searching for warmer weather, chose to head to the states located further south where the winters are milder and less harsh.

Playing in the snow.
One of the things that we are proud of, that is in living in this climate, is that it teaches you to prepare for the season changes.  Canning must be done, clothes and homes must readied for the cold weather ahead, and living in general must see adaptions taking place in order to prepare for the drastic climate changes around the corner.  With all of these adjustments though, there seems to be a basic life style that is less affected by time than in other locations of the U.S.  People know that in order to survive the harshest weather, and to prepare for each season and its changes, basic routines have to be carried out each year.  These give way to traditions that are long tested by the elements, and time.  They have proven to be true and allow for only small variations to exist in order insure survivability. 

Our land of the North Country
In comparison to the above, children feel safe and content when they understand and accept the limitations established for them by their parents.  When these borders are given by the caregivers, and are not changed according the whims of immediate pleasures and tangents, a child feels cared for, safe and loved.  Like wise, our land here in the north hands out harsh and consistent changes each year, but these changes are always predictable and never alter, much like the caring parent.  Most people that live here feel over time, that safety found in knowing that our North Country has certain elements that are always unfailing, and are always predictable, even though our native land goes through expected changes throughout the year.  There is the knowledge though, that with change, comes a certainty of dependability, completion and safety.