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The Snow Lotus

Exploring the Eternal Moment

1996
Author:

Peter M. Leschak

The Snow Lotus

An engaging new volume by the author of Letters from Side Lake and Seeing the Raven.

A Native American proverb states that “yesterday is ashes, tomorrow is wood, only today does the fire burn brightly.” This series of essays, set in the north woods of Minnesota, is woven around the theme of the importance of being alive and aware in the present. Deeply rooted in the natural world, The Snow Lotus shares the philosophical and emotional insights author Peter M. Leschak has acquired from a life lived close to nature.

“In a series of essays, with a sense of sacredness often pulling him just beyond the border of the known, Leschak ponders and probes the limitations of humanity. Each essay reveals a moment surviving in memory as a token of deeper purpose, a path to inviolable interconnectedness. . . . Leschak’s well-kindled sense of wonder, complemented by a river of scientific knowledge, penetrates and apprehends the human position.. . . Primarily this book is rooted in universal terrain, the anonymous ground of poetry. . . . Brimming with reverence, imagery and revelation, Snow Lotus will outlive countless new-age titles which promise timeless results.” Brainerd Daily Dispatch

A Native American proverb states that “yesterday is ashes, tomorrow is wood, only today does the fire burn brightly.” This series of essays, set in the north woods of Minnesota, is woven around the theme of the importance of being alive and aware in the present. Deeply rooted in the natural world, The Snow Lotus shares the philosophical and emotional insights author Peter M. Leschak has acquired from a life lived close to nature.

Each chapter in The Snow Lotus revolves around a single moment, illuminating those instants that approach epiphany. Exploring the myriad interrelationships between the natural world he inhabits and his constant struggle for transcendence and self-awareness, the tales Leschak relates encompass both the humor and the pathos day-to-day life can acquire when lived consciously.

Leschak peoples his essays with a colorful gallery of characters-his wife, Pam, his firefighting companions, his trusted dog, The Reverend. He recounts finding a still-warm deer bed early one autumn morning, taking a sauna with friends, seeing flying squirrels at his bird feeder. He tells of adventures while cross-county skiing, or hiking in the mountains of Mexico, evoking a strong sense of place, of the rhythm of small-town life, of long winters and brilliant night skies.

Through his stories Leschak shares the wisdom he has gleaned from his personal “eternal moments,” arguing that for humans there is a path to eternity, a path that is thorny and steep but whose passage is in plain view if only we will see it. The Snow Lotus is one guide to that path.

Excerpt:

“The forest was snow-covered, and ethereally dazzling beneath the late-November moon. The fir trees were crystalline spires, and even stark shadows were brightened by reflected light. I looked down and saw two deer, ghostly in the lunar effulgence . . . They bolted into the woods-shades and silhouettes vanishing beneath the laden boughs of a balsam fir. I've witnessed countless deer at night, but all in the glare of headlights; I had never glimpsed them in moon glow, in their natural demeanor of phantoms.”

The Snow Lotus

Peter M. Leschak is a freelance writer who lives in northeastern Minnesota. His books include Letters from Side Lake (Minnesota, 1992) and Seeing the Raven (Minnesota, 1994). His work has appeared in Harper's, the New York Times, Outdoor Life, and many periodicals.

The Snow Lotus

“In a series of essays, with a sense of sacredness often pulling him just beyond the border of the known, Leschak ponders and probes the limitations of humanity. Each essay reveals a moment surviving in memory as a token of deeper purpose, a path to inviolable interconnectedness. . . . Leschak’s well-kindled sense of wonder, complemented by a river of scientific knowledge, penetrates and apprehends the human position.. . . Primarily this book is rooted in universal terrain, the anonymous ground of poetry. . . . Brimming with reverence, imagery and revelation, Snow Lotus will outlive countless new-age titles which promise timeless results.” Brainerd Daily Dispatch

“Throughout these richly detailed and philosophical musings, Leschak reveres the here and now. I enjoyed reading every moment of them.” Minnesota Volunteer

“One of northern Minnesota's more prolific essayists delivers his third book of thoughtfully crafted works.” Lake Superior Magazine

“Reading Peter M. Leschak’s The Snow Lotus is like sitting down for coffee and conversation with a good friend, then glancing at your watch a few minutes later to discover that several hours have flown by.” Lake Country Journal