From where do these winter winds blow?
They challenge my slipping grip on summer days
And send me scurrying for wood and wool.
From places white and grey, of rock and ice;
where trees keep their branches close to themselves;
down glacial sweeps more ancient than human song.
What message do they whisper?
For whom are they howling?
Is God’s voice in these cold uncaring spirits
the way I feel Her there in the soft summer spray?
If winter didn’t miss the sun?
If sunset never changed blue sky?
If a candle never met the dark?
If the living never tasted death?
If the good didn’t judge the other?
Then, from where would songs begin?
This cold, dark season pulls
from deep within us
both humbling sorrow and
to ease our way – to keep us sane
a crazy humour that laughs
when howling winds and setting sun
most threaten to tear the doors off our fragile shells.
We huddle in small groups
like mourners at a wake,
like chilled campers at a fire.
And those who turn to meet the night most full and hard
produce the stories, songs and jokes we love the best
They warm us front and back
and we find ourselves breathing deep
those winter winds
to join in a song and a laugh.
September ’06 Vision Fast