Meredith Harber (courtesy)

Meredith Harber (courtesy)

Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

By Rev. Meredith Harber

Minister’s Message

As a new Alaskan — only four years under my belt — this is perhaps the most depressing phrase I’ve heard in all the Alaskan learnings. We stare off to the horizon, look at those snow dusted mountaintops and say, “There’s termination dust on there.” And it’s never said with joy or excitement. It’s said with this deep, aching sadness.

Snow on the mountains means that hikes get harder (or impossible). It means that fishing gets colder (and only for the true die-hards). It means that tent camping is out of the question and the darkness becomes deafening. It means that the roads are going to get harder to drive and that if you don’t have auto-start on your car, you better prepare yourself for cold mornings or allow yourself time to pre-heart your vehicle.

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally. The impending darkness and the “termination dust” feels like everything I love is being “terminated” and I’m being grounded for the winter. It feels like I’m being shackled to my house with all of the fun summer frolicking being taken away from me.

According to the all-knowing internet, the actual phrase “termination dust” comes from pre-statehood when the construction workers knew that their work was coming to an end. They’d look forward to it, knowing that the break was imminent and their bodies could take some time to rest and recharge, after a full summer of work.

While I’ll still be a little salty every time that snow sticks on the mountains and people start mentioning that dreaded phrase, I’m going to try to transition into the mindset that these early construction workers had.

What work of the last few months is it time to put down?

What do I need to do (or not do) to rest and recharge in this dark and cold season?

As you transition your gear to the winter hobbies, making room in your garage for the skis and snowshoes to come out of hiding, perhaps lighting more candles and turning that heat up a bit more, I hope you can find some comfort in the rest that this termination dust can bring us. I hope that whatever it is you are laying down for the winter, you will be able to breathe more deeply in this crisp, cool air.

The Rev. Meredith Harber ministers at Christ Lutheran Church at 128 N. Soldotna Ave., Soldotna. Worship is at 10 a.m. on Sundays in person with COVID-precautions or via Facebook Live, and 7 p.m. via Facebook Live.

More in Life

The 10 participants in season 9 of “Alone,” premiering on May 26, 2022, on the History Channel. Terry Burns of Homer is the third from left, back. Another Alaskan in the series, Jacques Tourcotte of Juneau, is the fourth from left, back. (Photo by Brendan George Ko/History Channel)
Homer man goes it ‘Alone’

Burns brings lifetime of wilderness experience to survival series

Thes chocolate chip cookie require no equipment, no pre-planning, and are done from start to finish in one hour. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Forever home chocolate chip cookies

This past week I moved into my first forever home

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: This purge won’t be a movie sequel

What’s forthcoming is a very rare occurrence and, in my case, uncommon as bifocals on a Shih Tzu puppy

File
Being content with what you don’t know

How’s your negative capability doing?

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Local Tlingit beader Jill Kaasteen Meserve is making waves as her work becomes more widely known, both in Juneau and the Lower 48.
Old styles in new ways: Beader talks art and octopus bags

She’s been selected for both a local collection and a major Indigenous art market

A copy of “The Fragile Earth” rests on a typewriter on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Seeking transformation in the face of catastrophe

Potent words on climate change resonate across decades

Gochujang dressing spices up tofu, lettuce, veggies and sprouts. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Healthy life starts with healthy food

Gochujang salad dressing turns veggies and tofu into an exciting meal

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Spring Fever

“OK, Boomer” is supposed to be the current put down by the “woke generation”

A headstone for J.E. Hill is photographhed in Anchorage, Alaska. (Findagrave.com)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 2

“Bob,” he said, “that crazy fool is shooting at us.”

File
Minister’s Message: Has spring sprung in your life?

Christ also offers us an eternal springtime of love, hope and life

Eggs Benedict are served with hollandaise on a bed of arugula and prosciutto. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Honoring motherhood, in joy and in sorrow

Many who have suffered this loss believe they must bear it in silence for the sake of propriety

Page from Seward daily gateway. (Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, Juneau, A.K.)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 1

Night Falls on the Daylight Kid—Part One By Clark Fair