Beginning to Awaken


By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast — a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines —

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches —

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind —

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined —
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance — Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken
~William Carlos Williams “Spring and All”

January wraps up
with much of the country
in deep freeze,
covered in snow and ice
and bitter wind chill.

Yet outside begins to awaken–
tender buds swelling,
bulbs breaking through soil,
in reentry to the world
from the dark and cold.

Like a mother who holds
the mystery of her quickening belly,
so hopeful and marveling,
she knows soon and very soon
there will be spring.

In a Dark Place

futuredaffodil

snowdrop2162

crocus216

Sometimes when you’re in a dark place
you think you’ve been buried,
but actually you’ve been planted.
~Christine Caine

_______________

We don’t understand
while buried in the dark,
that we rest planted in holy ground,
waiting for the wakening
that calls us forth to bloom and fruit.

croci216

amaryllisbud

snowdrops2163

swallowedup

SunDay2716

How Do You Know?

snowcrocus2

peonybud

How do you know, deep underground,
Hid in your bed from sight and sound,
Without a turn in temperature,
With weather life can scarce endure,
That light has won a fraction’s strength,
And day put on some moments’ length,
Whereof in merest rote will come,
Weeks hence, mild airs that do not numb;
O crocus root, how do you know,
How do you know?
~Thomas Hardy from “The Year’s Awakening”

______________

Only a handful of days with temperatures over 50 degrees F and the ground begins to crack with sprouting bulbs.  They are emerging early, sadly misled that winter is done.  In any case, it is glorious to see them. I won’t be surprised to hear the peepers starting their night chorus before long.

The year awakens despite the darkness when I leave for work in the morning and the darkness when I return.  We are turning a corner, staggering and bleary-eyed, emerging from the underground, preparing to face the light.

snowdrops12316

fallcrocus

Begin to Awaken

frost125144

frost125141

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast — a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines —

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches —

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind —

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined —
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance — Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken
~William Carlos Williams “Spring and All”

It is still January
with much of the country
in deep freeze,
covered in snow and ice
and bitter wind chill.
Yet outside begins to awaken–
tender buds swelling,
bulbs breaking through soil,
in reentry to the world
from the dark and cold.
Like a mother who holds
the mystery of her quickening belly,
so hopeful and marveling,
she knows soon and very soon
there will be spring.

frost12514
frost125146
iriswinter