The Cold


Snow finally arrived to Environmental Learning Center (December 4th to be exact) and the days since have been crisp and cold, transforming the landscape around us. The sunny, clear skies this week have revealed snow-capped mountains, whose presence can be forgotten behind the usual rain-laden clouds. Cascades running down the sheer rock cliffs in the gorge have turned to walls of jagged ice; the peaceful flow of water replaced by a new kind of terrifying beauty.

As we welcome this new season, I look to the words of Wendell Berry in a poem entitled, “The Cold”.

How exactly good it is
to know myself
in the solitude of winter,

my body containing its own
warmth, divided from all
by the cold; and to go

separate and sure
among the trees cleanly
divided, thinking of you

perfect too in your solitude,
your life withdrawn into
your own keeping

–to be clear, poised
in perfect self-suspension
toward you, as though frozen.

And having known fully the
goodness of that, it will be
good also to melt.



ELC Winter 11

ELC Winter 12

ELC Winter 1



All photos courtesy of Angela Burlile

Angela Burlile is a graduate student of North Cascades Institute and Western Washington University’s M.Ed. program and the current web resource editor graduate assistant. Growing up in Alaska, Angela feels most at home surrounded by mountains, glaciers, and turquoise rivers, making the North Cascades Institute a perfect fit. In her free time, Angela enjoys exploring the world, meeting its many inhabitants, sharing cups of coffee, climbing mountains and catching the sunrise.

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