Just Life

Poetry Thursday | Faith.

Yesterday morning, I finished reading WinterSong. This slim volume of writings by Madeleine L’Engle and Luci Shaw has been a delight; it took all my self-control to savor it slowly, to make it last from Advent, through Christmas and New Year’s and finally, almost Spring. I will set the book aside until December and look forward to experiencing it all again.

I try (some days anyway) not to complain about the weather. Recently, that’s been especially challenging; it feels like we’ve had 40 days of rain (interrupted by a little snow), plenty of wind, and temperatures ranging from 20 to 75 … egads!

a rare moment without rain

This poem was one of the last in the book and it spoke to me (in a very loud and commanding voice). Maybe y’all need to read it, too?!

Faith

Spring is a promise
in the closed fist
of a long winter. All
we have got is a raw
slant of light at a low
angle, a rising river
of wind, and an icy rain
that drowns out green
in a tide of mud. It is
the daily postponement
that disillusions. (Once
again the performance
has been cancelled by
the management.) We live
on legends of old
springs. Each evening
brings only remote
possibilities of
renewal: “Maybe
tomorrow.” But the
evening and the morning
are the umpteenth day
and the God of sunlit
Eden still looks
on the weather
and calls it good.
~Luci Shaw

14 Comments

  • Bonny

    Spring is still a long way away here, but that is a lovely poem. “All we have got is a raw slant of light at a low angle, a rising river of wind, and an icy rain that drowns out green in a tide of mud” is so very true and evocative!

  • Vera

    Love that poem! I’ve actually been enjoying (??? what???) our grey weather. There is something very soothing about it. Yes, the rain is tiresome as are the temps (I’d much rather have it be cold and snow or warmer – I’m not fond of 30’s and 40’s). Not sure I will continue to enjoy if we have another whole month of this, but for now I am content.

  • Debbie

    Our winter has been on the mild side, but has been one gray day after another with lots of cold rain and sleet…a little bit of sunshine would be so nice! Thanks for sharing that lovely poem.
    I enjoy Madeleine L’Engle’s writing and re-read her Crosswicks Journals last year…they were just as good the secon time around. I will keep Winter Song in mind for next Advent.

  • Carole

    That’s a beautiful poem. Today is the 2 month anniversary of my brother-in-law’s death and I think I will share this with Mary, his widow.

  • Kym

    What a beautiful poem, Mary. Thank you.
    (And it still astonishes me that the middle of February . . . can be SPRING for you. . . even when the weather is crap.) XO

  • Kat

    I have some very fool hardy snow drops that have emerged! I hope the weekend temps do not do them in.

    The poem is lovely! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Sarah

    “the closed fist of winter” — that is just perfect. We’ve similarly been experiencing wild ranges of temperatures, lots of rain, and teases of spring. Today we’re back to winter, and I feel terrible for all the spring flowers that have started to come up.

  • karen

    Like you I try not to complain about the weather but it’s been such a dreary winter! However, as I sit typing the sun is out and calling me a liar. Loved the poem that you shared, thank you.

  • Patty

    I think this is bathroom mirror or refrigerator worthy. Looking to move past the closed fist of a long winter. The grey has surely taken a toll this year for some reason. But spring will come with beautiful mud and birdsong and green popping up all around. Thank-you Mary!

  • Jane

    Now I need to go look for my copy of WinterSong. I read it oh so long ago. The poem was lovely. The sun has been out the last few days with a warming trend. And this evening, the sun was visible on the western horizon at 6:09 p.m. By 6:10 p.m. it had set. When the light lasts past six, I know we are on our way to spring. I need to go out back and see if the daffodils are coming up. Enjoy your Sunday.

  • Alexa

    Such a lovely, lovely poem … Thank-you :). Over here, it’s been a mild winter in that we have not had heavy snow, just odd showers, and the temperature has only dipped below 32F on a handful of occasions; lots of grey, and rain and wind. But the snowdrops and primroses are out and the daffodils pokng their heads up (not as far as yours), and it’s light until after 5.30 p.m. That lifts my spirits …