December 10, 2013

Winter Returns

Winter returns; its stark contrasts and faint etchings reside comfortably on the landscape. 

It is late, and though my eyelids fall and rise laboriously, my mind pecks bird-like at the windows of my soul. Dreams are not rehearsed enough; they need more practice before my eyes become their audience. So my fingertips patter away in the dim light that lies almost harshly on my face and hands. 

I've been pondering snow, reading about snow, musing about winter, wondering about leaflessness. 

The woods were my refuge last week, one warm afternoon. I had missed the comfort of long, grey-brown torsos and arching, spreading arms. I stood beneath a tree for a moment, lifting my arms as he did. His gnarled, aged limbs somehow had more grace than my smooth, young ones. In the shadowy grey of winter, he held up his arms, unwavering, resilient. He had nothing--he was missing limbs, had lost his leaves. Yet still he held up empty hands, praising, trusting for spring. 

Perhaps the trees are wiser than we. 

"In the bleak midwinter..." there come small flickers of clarity, if only we will open our eyes. 

{I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.}
Andrew Wyeth

Winter pares us down, strips our finery, and reveals us truly. Winter is clarity, and yet winter is mystery. Its purposes are not ours to know, but are secrets scripted in ice and snow--languages that cannot be known.

"God's purposes are not for me to understand His plans. His plan is for me to understand who He is."
Ann Voskamp

May He find and warm our wintry souls,
in the bleakest of winters and drifted snow.

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