Although the snow still lingers Heaped on the ivy’s blunt webbed fingers And painting tree-trunks on one side, Here in this sunlit ride The fresh unchristened things appear, Leaf, spathe and stem, With crumbs of earth clinging to them To show the way they came But no flower yet to tell their name, And one green spear Stabbing a dead leaf from below Kills winter at a blow. ~Andrew Young, “Last Snow”
The snow ice-encrusts the morning
before it bids farewell under warming sunlight.
Winter encases spring
to grasp one last moment
There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. – William Sharp
Roused by faint glow
between closed slats
of window blinds
in ethereal light
from a moonless sky~
a million stars fall silent
Snow light covers all,
settling gently while it
tucks the downy corners
of snowflake comforter
plumps the pillows,
cushions the landscape,
illuminates the heart.
The miraculous is not extraordinary, but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread.
Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air, and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances, will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine – which was, after all, a very small miracle.
We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes. ~Wendell Berry from Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community
The miraculous escapes our attention every day ~
we are blinded to the wonder of it all,
accepting as mundane that which warrants our awe and overwhelm.
How can the scales be lifted from our eyes?
How can we be offered up such astonishment and never be satiated?
Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour. ~ John Boswell
As temperatures rose 40 degrees from a snowy/icy first half of January to a balmy third week, it feels like our winter isn’t going to linger long after all. As much as my frozen fingers appreciate the reprieve while during barn chores, I am wistful that winter may have already decided to pack up and move on for another year. It seems its departure was a bit hurried from the scattered reminders left behind — a bejeweled owl feather here, a molding leaf there, crusts of melting ice everywhere.
We need a little more of this season of bare bones and stark landscapes, of time for remembrance and restoration. I won’t bid goodbye yet, hoping it may yet linger a while longer.
A narrow pond would form in the orchard, water clear as air covering grass and black leaves and fallen branches, all around it black leaves and drenched grass and fallen branches, and on it, slight as an image in an eye, sky, clouds, trees, our hovering faces and our cold hands. ~Marilynne Robinson from Housekeeping
“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.” ~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
We are meant to be more than mere blemish,
more than a sullied spot or gaping hole on the surface, imperfect and inconvenient.
We are created as air and water and flesh and bones,
from the covering of skin to our deeper darkened cavities that fill and empty.
We are created out of Word and Silence.
We are created to weep and praise, praise and weep.
We are meant to be mystery, perfect in our imperfection.
Blemish made beautiful.