Echoes From the Campfire

No, it wasn’t like the Christmas like the folks have nowadays—
     They are livin’ more in comfort, and they’ve sorter changed their ways—
     But I sorter wish, old pardner, we could brush the years away,
     And be jest as young and happy, as we was that Christmas Day.”
              –Bruce Kiskaddon

    “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people.”  
              –Luke 2:29-31 (NIV)
Brrr, I can remember some cold days around Christmas.  Of course, the days when I was a kid didn’t seem so cold.  I could get out and play, sled, have snowball fights, but as I got older the work came along.  There were many a day out working in the cold where the temperature was below zero.  Boy, oh howdy, my toes are curling just thinking about it now.
    Most of the time in Colorado the wind came from the west, but I can remember those times when Old Man Winter sent his wind down from the north.  Texans talk about a Blue Norther, but when the cold sets in up in the high altitudes of the Rockies or a blizzard begins to howl, well, be ready for a cold spell.  Sure hope you have plenty of wood to feed the fire.
    A few years back I stumbled across a song, the lyrics by Michael Martin Murphy.  It set me to thinking about those who have to work out in the cold.  Those who have to work alone doing their daily chores.  


         That old north wind, howling high up in the timber
         The only choir that I remember,
         I was riding on the line.
         One lone star, hanging over the horizon
         Like the one that led the wise men
         As they followed heaven’s sign.
         Snow-capped peaks
         Like the angels in their glory
         Seem to sing the ancient story
         As the wind blows through the pines.
         Drifting along to the sound of spurs jingling
         Like silver bells ringing
         Christmas on the line.

    I don’t know who wrote this, but someone referred to a line camp as a “cowboy monastery.”  He was alone in God’s great cathedral, listening to the sounds of nature sing the Christmas story, and who knows, if the angels didn’t join in with the sound of the wind.  Of course, there may those who would disagree and say that a line camp could cause a person to go stir crazy, but there are those who see the hand of God even in the bleakest winter.
    Take a walk this Christmas season, or at least sit for a spell out on the back porch.  Bundle up, grab a cup of coffee (or since it’s Christmas, a cup of real cocoa) and feel the touch of the Lord in the crisp breeze.  He is there, He will always be there.