Sinking in over a foot of snow (if not more) and being tranformed from a living fuctional unit into a statue made of ice, winter in Minnesota can best be described as an odessy in itself. Fighting through drifts, digging out of the driveways that are buried three feet deep, and not seeing anything because of high winds picking up the snow and sending it flying around mother nature can show its true colors at her own convenience, as we end up locked in our homes, waiting until the coast is clear to go back out there and resume our lives as it was before the storm hit. That is, until the next storm comes and strands us somewhere where we don’t want to be stranded. Â Winters can leave scars on the landscape just as much as the spring thaw, when the fields, once covered in drifts, become huge puddles that are just as deep as the snow. This is the beauty of winter in Minnesota; especially in the rural areas, where it is flat and is only dependent on agriculture.
During my last trip to my place of origin known as southern Minnesota, a place resembling a cross between Siberia and Schleswig-Holstein because of its sparse population and flatness, I had a chance to take some photos of one of the most brutal winters on record, and happen to meet some freaky encounters worth being put in the album to share with those who are interested. This is one that really caught my eye and not worth a miss. A small story accompanies the photos enclosed:
Going as far as the eye can see, for miles upon miles, it is a trip into the unknown where you are taking an awful risk, dealing with the waves that are white in color and grainy enough to suck you in if you go in too deep. It is just as bad as it is if you go through the fields covered in pools of water during the spring thaw, for you get sucked in by the really thick mud that accompanies the great flood. Wave upon wave, you cannot see any sight of land unless it is in a form of a line of road that is barely above water, a patch of land resembling a farm that has long since been abandoned, or a corn processing plant which produced toxic fumes one can smell for miles upon miles, while producing ethanol for cars in an attempt to cool down the Earth (which we’re doing the opposite, of course). With no help in site, you fight, on thinking about every step through the icy cold winds and bone-chilling temperatures that reddens you first before you turn to white and disappear together with the foot prints you leave behind by the wind, as you go through every drift thinking it is your last. Eventually you are rescued after a long journey, but not before facing the constant variable that is well known as you go through the walks of life to know about yourself until your end is near. And in the end, what you leave behind are the foot prints from your journey through the sea of white; not physically, as it disappears over time, but spiritually in the hearts and minds or those who must carry on your legacy through the waves and the wind.
From the files, until next time…