Ron Moffat: January 2007 Archives

In Honor of Robert Burns Birthday


To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough

Robert Burns

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

From the Desert Fathers:


Pambo said to Antony, 'What shall I do?' Antony said, 'Do not trust in your own righteousness. Do not go on sorrowing over a deed that is passed. Keep your tongue and your belly under control.'

It Is a Beauteous Evening


It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time as quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad Sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea:
Listen! The mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder -- everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! walkest select with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;
and worshipp’st at the Temple' s inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

William Wordsworth

What's the Eskimo Word for Snow?


That was the headline that appeared in the local newspaper this morning and after last night, a good many people here in Colorado Springs are beginning to wonder what it's going to take just to make the snow stop. A couple of days before Christmas, and again just before New Years we had two very heavy snow storms that dumped approximately a foot of snow each week. Then again overnight on Friday, we had another inch and overnight last night we had approximately 3 inches and were expecting up to 5 inches total through this afternoon. The snow hadn't cleared out from the first two storms, and now we're digging out from another one. We also have extremely cold conditions, with the high yesterday being only about 7° in the high expected today to be about 10°, and it's likely that we won't be above freezing before Wednesday or Thursday.

I have to say, the city, and I think especially our neighborhood, is unusually beautiful under the blanket of white stuff, but it's making me a little stir crazy. It is hard for me to get out in very slippery conditions for fear of falling and re-injuring my shoulder. Some stores and businesses here have been very good about shoveling and clearing snow and ice. Others have not been so good, and it can be very dangerous walking on an uncleared sidewalk: because the ice underneath the layer of snow is often invisible, it can be very easy to trip and fall. It can also be dangerous crossing the streets, because the city has not done an especially good job clearing them, and often the areas next to the curbs and on street corners have been left snowy and icy.

One can hope that we'll have a respite from the snow and get a couple of weeks of warmer, milder, weather, which is much more common in January. Then we'll all get a chance to dig out and prepare for the more normal heavy snows in February and March. Then it will be time to look forward to a glorious spring and a beautiful Easter morning. I can see the daffodils now.

From the Desert Fathers


Somebody asked Anthony, 'What shall I do in order to please God?' He replied, 'Do what I tell you, which is this: where ever you go keep God in mind: whatever you do, follow the example of holy Scripture; where ever you are stay there and do not move away in a hurry. If you keep to these guidelines, you will be saved'

St. Romuald's Brief Rule


Sit in your cell as in paradise;
put the whole world behind you and forget it;
like a skilled angler on the lookout for a catch
keep a careful eye on your thoughts.

The path you follow is in the psalms -- don't leave it.
If you've come with a novice's enthusiasm and can't
accomplish what you want, take every chance you can find
to sing the psalms in your heart and to understand them
with your head; if your mind wanders as you read
don't give up but hurry back and try again.

Above all realize that you are in God's presence;
hold your heart there in wonder as if before your sovereign.

Empty yourself completely;
sit waiting, content with God's gift,
like a little chick tasting and eating nothing
but what its mother brings.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Ron Moffat in January 2007.

Ron Moffat: December 2006 is the previous archive.

Ron Moffat: February 2007 is the next archive.

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