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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Springtime in the Northland

On Monday, I left to go on a retreat and for the last couple days have been experiencing community life and prayer and...more iconography. I brought my icon with me to work on, and am amazed at what a little direction and time will accomplish! Although I have a long ways to go before it will be done, I admit I feel more confident in my ability to proceed.

This morning we drove out to the Oratory where the community will reside when the renovations on the Priory are completed, and it was my great pleasure to end my retreat with four solid hours of prayer. Of course, there was the rosary en route (in private as I drove solo), then once there, chanted Divine Office, Morning Prayer, Adoration, Little Office of Mary, Daytime Prayer, Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form, Novena to St. Joseph, and Stations of the Cross (the version by St. Alphonsus Liguouri). Whew! Talk about marathon prayers!

On the way home, at Sister's suggestion, instead of driving straight to the freeway, I took a brief but parallel detour along peaceful farmland so that I could stop and pick up some fresh cheese curds.

My friends, one of the great pleasures of living in the upper Midwest, and most specifically, of passing through Wisconsin, is being able to pick up fresh, still-squeaky cheese curds fresh off the family farm.

As I left, squeaking on curds, enjoying the rolling hills of Wisconsin farmland, I realized how grateful I am both to be Catholic and to live in the upper midwest. This is GOD'S COUNTRY, my friends, and I don't think I'd ever want to live anywhere else.

I've even come to appreciate the oft-parodied accents of our region, and associate the most prominent with the friendliest, most-down-to-earth people one would ever care to meet.

At the same time, as I inhaled the fresh farm scents, I also realized how distasteful it is to have to actually reside within the rotting urban putrescence we refer to as a "suburb", kept apart from the incredible beauty of the tilled land that makes up most of the Midwest.

An old song from the Indigo Girls came to mind as I drove along, musing, so I couldn't help but create my own parody of it.  Just so you get the melody, first check it out here then come back and sing with my edited version.

Northland in the Springtime

Maybe we'll make Fargo by the morning
Light the flood-swamps with our tail lights in the night
300 miles to Stillwater from the state line
And we never have the money for the train
I'm in the back seat sleepy from the travel
Rocked our hearts out all night long in the Windy City
I'm dirty from the diesel fumes, drinking coffee black
When the first breath of Eau Claire comes in clean

And there's something 'bout the Northland in the springtime
Where the waters flow with flooding and destruction
Though I miss her when I'm gone it won't ever be too long
Till I'm home again to spend my favorite season
When God made me born a yankee it was pleasin'
There's no place like home and none more reasoned
Than the Northland in the springtime

In the Northland nights are colder than a blizzard
Within a snowcone someone's brother formed in hand
With the farmland like a tapestry passed down through generations
And the birch trees stitched across the land
There'll be cider up near Redwing off the roadside
And warm cheese curds in a bag to warm your fingers
And the smoke from the chimneys meets its maker in the sky
With a song that winter wrote whose melody lingers

And there's something 'bout the Northland in the springtime
Where the waters flow with flooding and destruction
Though I miss her when I'm gone it won't ever be too long
Till I'm home again to spend my favorite season
When God made me born a yankee it was pleasin'
There's no place like home and none more reasoned
Than the Northland in the springtime

2 comments:

diddleymaz said...

No ,Gods own country is Pembrokeshire or possibly Buckinghamshire! :)

Adoro said...

Well, OK< there too. I'll take your word for it. ;-)