Results tagged “Minnesota” from Kristin Swenson
February, and I'm excited to be heading to MN... for a few days, anyway. I know. You'd think it's the worst time, and yet -- to share warm conversation about books with family and friends and friends-yet-to-meet -- is an especially sweet pleasure in the midst of winter's hold on the north. And word's getting out. This morning's New York Times ran an article about the surprising pleasure of trekking into the frozen wilderness of Minnesota's border lakes -- the waterways we share with Canada. They snake their way through piney islands, rocks, and fiercely clear air for more miles than you can imagine,... and there's not a motor in sight or auditory range. It's awesome in ways we seldom experience anymore but that, with no warning or fanfare, lay bare our deepest and perhaps truest connection to each other and this great green-blue globe of earth. To touch a little such wildness, or be touched by it, can be transformative, as the whole biblical book of Numbers ("In the Wilderness," as the Hebrew title identifies the book) attests. Dangerous, yes, but good.
Hospitality in fierce climes is crucial. The hospitality of the desert is legendary, and several biblical stories hinge on it. Who knows, some suggest, but you might at any time be entertaining angels. Abraham and Sarah made a comfortable place for visitors, undercover messengers of God, who declared that the elderly Sarah will finally have a son. The criminality of Sodom's population is immediately evident to readers simply by their intent to harm the visitors (also angels in human guise) in their midst.
I live in the South, where people pride themselves on gracious hospitality, and it is indeed a lovely tradition, but right now I'm back in northern Minnesota where I great up, right on the tip of Lake Superior.