Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season

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9781893361928: Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season

Explore how the dormancy and difficulty of winter can be a
time of spiritual preparation and transformation.

For many, winter is a time of postponed activity―and of shoveling snow, navigating ice, and trying to keep warm. What can easily be forgotten in winter’s cold and occasional dreariness is that it can also be a time of shoring up, of purity, praise, delight, and play.

In thirty stirring pieces―from translated Sanskrit and Hebrew poems to Henry David Thoreau and Basho, Jane Kenyon, John Updike, Kathleen Norris, and Annie Dillard―we share in the recognition of winter’s hardships and celebrate the glory of winter as a spiritual gift―a quiet time in the rhythm of life, a time of thoughtfulness, of looking forward, and of unexpected hope.

Examining our retreat and hibernation from the world, and our ultimate breaking free from icy paralysis, these inspiring selections help us express and understand our own personal reaction to wintertime. They show us the way from the cold of this season to the warmth of the human soul.

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About the Author:

Gary Schmidt teaches literature at Calvin College. He is coeditor of Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season; Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season and Spring: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (all SkyLight Paths). He is also author of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, a Newbery Honor book; Mara's Stories: Glimmers in the Darkness, a Fanfare 2002 Horn Book honor list book; Straw into Gold; and, with Lawrence Kushner, In God's Hands.

From Publishers Weekly:

This outstanding anthology features top-flight nature and spirituality writers on the fierce, inexorable season of winter. This is not the place to seek warm fuzzy odes to sleigh rides and hot cider, though those images appear occasionally. Rather, these authors speak to the brutal barrenness of winter, its frozen tundra a witness to the manner in which spirituality requires dormant, seemingly infertile periods before bursting into life. Included are excerpts from Kathleen Norris's Dakota, in which she ruminates on the apparent impossibility of the Dakota cold, and three selections from noted spirituality writer Annie Dillard. New England resident Jamaica Kincaid reflects upon the struggles of a "winter garden," while E. B. White recalls "the winter of the great snows." White rather sheepishly confesses to liking the cold, the dark and the housebound nature of winter. Excellent essays by Ron Hansen, Will Campbell, Jane Kenyon and Henry David Thoreau are remarkably lively and warm, despite the icy subject.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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