By Charlie Johnston
I got to the cabin in the mountains on Friday afternoon. We had gotten a lot of snow on Thursday, but weather reports said the road were clear during the day as temperatures got up to the mid-40s, but that more snow was coming Friday night. I was stressed enough I left thinking I would turn back if I ran into serious obstacles at the higher elevations. But I needed some solitude…time to think and work. The roads were completely clear. Even the gravel and dirt road up to the cabin was clear. I didn’t slip once. Ah, but Friday night, we got over a foot of new snow. By four o’clock Saturday afternoon, it had largely melted off the roads again. But once again, overnight we got another five or six inches of fresh snow. And again, as I write this, it has finally largely melted off again. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
I could feel the tension melting away Friday afternoon. I even delighted in the heave blanket of new snow Saturday morning. Most of all, inspiration came. I have sometimes seen writers mark something as their own favorite piece of work – and it is not anywhere close to my favorite from their opus. But I am going to risk it here. The second part of “Whatcha Gonna do..” is probably not the best thing I have ever written, but it certainly ranks among the top 10. It is not that it ceased to be a piece of practical advice on traveling on foot for a long period. It remains that, but inspiration rose and it has become much more. In some way, I think it has, in microcosm, has become a story of our times. What it has morphed into took my breath away this weekend. I don’t know that it will do the same for you…but I do think you will agree it was worth the wait. I will post it first thing tomorrow.
One of the supplies I get when coming up to the cabin are some of the cheap hot dogs – you know, the dollar a pack variety. I leave out a couple each day for the fox that likes to come around each evening. I am bemused to find the fox now has a protégé he brings with him. I don’t know whether it is a girlfriend or just a young fellow he is training on the proper rounds to make. Certainly, his protégé looks a little younger and spryer. They still only get two hot dogs a day.
Though in a remote spot, I am only about 20 miles from a Church, one that even has Daily Mass four days a week. In the Colorado high country, the transition from small town to stark wilderness is startlingly abrupt. I can’t get there when the roads are blocked, but they have one evening Daily Mass and a Sunday anticipation Mass on Saturday evening. At this time of year, even if the roads are snowbound in the morning, they are usually fairly clear by late afternoon. I will be here a few weeks to finish the Prayer Group booklets, arrange my first road trip for June and get the next three on the calendar. On Divine Mercy Sunday we taped a video of the song of thanksgiving for rescue. A friend, has a teenage daughter in honor choir – and so she got a couple of friends to help sing it with me. Actually, there were supposed to be four girls and two boys, but only three girls made it. Apparently teenagers are not all that enthused about spending their Sunday afternoons singing a repetitive religious song. Who knew? I can’t put videos up directly on this site, so my son is setting up a YouTube Account and I will link to it later this week when my son has it finished.
am profoundly grateful to my friends who have made this fortress of solitude available. Though I dreaded the onset of the Storm for decades, now that it is here, I find a great jubilation mixed in with the struggles…for now I know it is the beginning of the Triumph. How lovely that the sequence which leads to the Triumph is seriously underway now.