Monday, November 22, 2010

Mystery of the Unknown

If we can somehow retain places where we
can always sense the mystery of the unknown,

our lives will be richer for it.

~Sigurd F. Olson

Of Note: In our hustle-bustle world, it is often difficult to find locations of peace and quiet where the mystery of the unknown comes to life. Sigurd Olson, a world renowned environmentalist, found such spots canoeing in northern Minnesota on pristine lakes near his hometown of Ely. He wrote a myriad of books cataloging all of his favorite places "far from the maddening crowd." The man lived to leave civilization and submerged himself in the vast wilderness. Solitude was his friend and companion. Upon returning from his sojourns, this practical mystic brought back a message that man should refrain from inhabiting every square inch of the planet. That open space was good for the collective soul. That alone-time was essential to find the mystery of the unknown. What he might not have emphasized but surely knew--the external was only a symbol for the true place of peace inside. As Louise Driscoll famously said: "Within your heart, keep one, still secret spot where dreams may go."

Today's Weather Report: Ice and snow defined the day. I know because I was returning from Ashland in the thick of a winter storm. Although I wasn't driving, it was a vicarious white-knuckle event. At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the precipitation was just at the point of freezing. Someone might ask why the trip was made in the first place. Well, the answer was the roads on the way there were was the unexpected snow that changed the outcome. Putting that aside, the last Chicagoland hunter left today and was returning to 58 degree temperatures. My Mom in Dallas, Texas reported 70 degrees temps yesterday. However, although today was a little more exciting than most, I wouldn't trade their balmy weather for ours. A white winter adds to the excitement of living in northern Wisconsin.