Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I have started a new essay on my much neglected other blog, The Suburban Ascetic. I hope to survey the situation of Orthodoxy in the contemporary global culture, starting with a look backwards to the past. I cannot promise more than a paragraph or two a night (or every other night.) Nonetheless, if you are interested, stop on by.
Cold weather can mean hard times on the farm. Most of our lambs are born at night, in the shelter of the barn. Nonetheless, a sizeable few make a daylight arrival. No problem on mild days; in some ways it is better for them than the barn. On days like these though, it is a risk and a challenge. Our daytime temperatures have been below freezing, with wind-chills hovering near zero. A lamb born healthy can get pneumonia in minutes. A lamb that needs a little extra care may be frozen solid by evening when we check the fields one last time before closing the barn. We lost two lambs last week. One, a weak twin that never thrived after being born outside in a patch of grass not quite covered by snow. The second, I found frozen in the pile of leaves his mother had left him in while she came in for the morning feeding. As I took away the small bodies, both ewes were calling, crying out to their lambs, not understanding where they went, or why they wouldn't come.

A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled,
because they were no more.