Thursday, December 25, 2003

Today the Virgin gives birth to him who is above all being,
And the earth offers the Cave to him whom no one can approach;
Angels with Shepherds give glory,
And Magi journey with a star;
For us there has been born
A little Child: God before the ages.

Bethlehem has opened Eden, come, let us see;
We have found delight in secret, come let us receive
The joys of Paradise within the cave;
There the unwatered root has appeared whose blossom is forgiveness,
There has been found the undug well
From which David once wished to drink;
There a Virgin has borne a babe
And has at once quenched Adam’s and David’s thirst.
For this let us hasten to this place where there has been born
A little Child: God before the ages.

From the Matins service for the Feast of the Nativity
Translation by Archimandrite Ephraim

Monday, December 08, 2003

Why small dogs should really live further south . . .

Sheep have this unerring way of breeding to lamb in the worst weather possible. Since the average gestation time is 150 days, this shows a foreknowledge of weather that shames the best human prophets. When the storm hit, and no lambs arrived, we thought they had finally slipped up. Then Susan went to the barn this morning . . .

Sunday, December 07, 2003

We had our first snowstorm of the season this weekend. Susan moved the sheepflock into the barn and we have been feeding grain and hay while the pastures are buried under a foot or so of white. I am writing this with a leg propped up between sessions with an ice pack. One of the ewes, a little too eager for her share of the afternoon's hay bale, took out my right knee with a body block that would have done an NFL linebacker proud. I will recover in due course, but, in the meantime, here are some pictures from the weekend's storm:

Sunrise and snow

Between Storms

Regular visitors here may be curious about the outcome of the election on November 4th. I was running as an independent candidate for Commonwealth's Attorney in my home county here in Virginia. The final results are posted here on the State Board of Elections website. As a first fling with politics, the results were respectable, if not all that we had hoped for. Looking back, I am amazed at the number of people who did come out and support a first time candidate with little money, no party backing and name recognition only among the circle of folks who keep track of doings around the Courthouse. My wife Susan performed heroically helping me go door to door and and handling logistics of getting poll workers out on election day. I am also grateful to the many friends who came forward and donated both time and money, freely, without being asked.

Since the election, I have been gratified by the number of people who have asked me to stay on in my current position, assuming the new Commonwealth's attorney (and my former opponent) is agreeable. I have some offers to leave public service and go into private practice, which I am also considering. For those of you who read this and are praying people, your prayers for wisdom would be appreciated!