The long procession
Well, I might not go quite so far as Calvin, but there is something to what he says. These gray winter days are certainly conducive to reflection. And reflection is a good thing.
“[My grandfather] returned to what he called ‘studying.’ He sat looking down at his lap, his left hand idle on the chair arm, his right scratching his head, his white hair gleaming in the lamplight. I knew that when he was studying he was thinking, but I did not know what about. Now I have aged into knowledge of what he thought about. He thought of his strength and endurance when he was young, his merriment and joy, and how his life’s burdens had then grown upon him. He thought of that arc of country that centered upon Port William as he first had known it in the years just after the Civil War, and as it had changed, and as it had become; and how all that time, which would have seemed almost forever when he was a boy, now seemed hardly any time at all. He thought of the people he remembered, now dead, and of those who had come and gone before his knowledge, and of those who would come after, and of his own place in that long procession.” (Wendell Berry, Andy Catlett: Early Travels)
Let’s all try to work some “studying” into our schedule.