One day when the weather is warm

February 6, 2009

Yesterday’s instruction from Fr. Zosima has reminded me of a great song by Joe Henry called “One Day when the Weather is Warm”.  If you recall, Fr. Zosima said that we should not worry too much about our progress in the spiritual life; we should do our duty, do what we know to be right, and, in the end, we will find that we have made progress, even without our noticing it.  Joe Henry puts it this way:

One day when the weather turns
As sweet as the sky is deep and wide
I’ll cut myself a row
Like a man in his sleep
That will find me farther on
Than all the times I’ve tried

One day when the weather is warm
I’ll wake up on a hill
And hold the morning like it was a plough
And I’ll cut myself a row
And I’ll follow it until
I know better, by God, than I know now

Here’s the song, from his 1993 album Kindness of the World.  The whole album is excellent.

9 Responses to “One day when the weather is warm”

  1. Janet Says:

    Fr. Zosima said that we should not worry too much about our progress in the spiritual life I’ve been reading a little book that deals with this topic. It’s called Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small treatiseon Peace of the Heart by Fr. Jacques Philippe. A small book with a looooong title. One of the things he really stresses is that you must not spend a lot of time agonizing over your sins. You have to be sorry for them and repent, but wallowing in your remorse just isn’t profitable. I’ve found it to be a kind of pride. You had higher expectations for yourself than were in any way reasonable and now you are disappointed because you’ve knocked yourself off of your pedestal.

    AMDG, Janet

  2. cburrell Says:

    That too is similar to what Fr. Zosima said, isn’t it? I’m prone to that kind of pride myself. There can be a temptation to think that if you’re not discouraged by your sins, then you must be complacent. But there is a third way, as you say, through humility.

  3. Janet Says:

    Fr. Jacques Philippe says: What is more pleasing to God? Is it when, after experiencing a failure, we are discouraged and tormented, or when we react by saying: “Lord, I ask Your pardon, I have sinned again. This, alas, is what I am capable of doing on my own! But I abandon myself with confidence to Your mercy and Your pardon, I think You for not allowing me to sin even more grievously.”


  4. KathyB Says:

    Thank God! I was recently lamenting that I don’t have the time I would wish to think about spiritual things. Now I feel better.

  5. I’ve been meaning for some to write something about Joe Henry. Talk about your unjustly neglected artists…

  6. cburrell Says:

    I think that Joe Henry is unjustly neglected, but I can’t complain too loudly; I myself am among the unjust. I have listened to three or four of his albums, but Kindness of the World is the only one with which I have much familiarity. It takes time to get to know his songs, and for the most part I haven’t given it to him.

  7. My favorite is Shuffletown, although I think that’s a minority opinion. The ones where the Jayhawks play with him have some great songs but I don’t like the arrangements as well. The later ones, after Kindness, get less song-y and more diffuse, but still very much worth hearing.

  8. Jim L Says:

    Wow I just stumbled across this thread and I love Joe Henry. I just listened to “One Day When the Weather is Warm” today driving around chilly MI. These spiritual topics really spark with me as well. All good stuff. I agree with Maclin ~ Shuffletown is one of the best Joe Henry albums I own. I lost mine at a show years ago trying to get it signed. Thank God for Amazon. I actually received a used copy (great condition) from a Catholic priest. Talk about Karma…it was perfect!

  9. cburrell Says:

    Catholic priests don’t usually talk about karma — at least I hope not! — but I take your point. Joe Henry really is a wonderful songwriter and singer. My favourite record is still Kindness of the World, but I’m giving the others a hearing again.

    Sometimes I find him a little cold, a little too neat and calculating, and though I think that that formality works well with his probing and sometimes enigmatic lyrics, I don’t find it very engaging. Kindness has a home-spun texture that I can warm up to more than the other records.

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