Sunday, January 3, 2010

The New Year's Wintertime

It is the third day of the new year, at least as we count time. How does the earth count time, I wonder? Would it count from the beginning of the growing season or the ending? Would the earth's fiscal year stretch from harvest to harvest? At what time of year are tree rings laid down and at what point is new growth on turtle shells distinct? And how in the world do shallow rooted plants and hibernating frogs live through this frozen time of year, emerging again to welcome spring when the time comes?

This day, it is hard to believe that spring will ever really arrive...hard to believe that those invisible forbs and buried frogs can possibly live through what seems the cruelty of winter. This is the season in which my faith is sorely tested and tried as I strain my imagination to believe that renewed life is even possible, let alone likely. The words of In the Bleak Mid-Winter come to mind right now... In the bleak mid-winter, frosty winds made moan. Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone. Today, where I live, the ground is frozen as solid as concrete and the winds are bitter and unrelenting, and yet...

And yet, a poem I came across in a British magazine many years ago always brings comfort through the long and trying months of winter, whether my winter be simply the season of the year, or a season of change or perhaps grief. It speaks of purpose during this time of forced waiting, of rest that fuels new growth when the time is right. I have found over the years that it is during these trying times of seeming inaction that our spirits can be fed and deepened if we will but cooperate.

A Time to Meditate

The heart must have its wintertime,
A time to meditate, when peace
Like snow, descends with calming grace
And all life's fruitless worries cease.

The heart must have its wintertime
A time when dreams, like roots, can sleep
And gather strength until the day
They have a rendezvous to keep.

The heart must have its wintertime
An interlude when hope sprouts wings
As bright as any cardinals
And newborn courage softly sings.

The heart must have its time of snow
To rest in silence and to grow.

May God in His mercy give our souls the time of quiet we need now in order to tackle whatever it is that will come next in our lives. And may He grant us patience and attentiveness to His abundant provision as we move forward.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mom,

How was your day? It was so nice to see you this weekend. I'm going to start planning for the next time we come--so we can all have dinner together. Love you. Bekah

David L. Hall said...

Great to have you back in blogdom.