I am usually a winter kind of person. I gasp with delight at the first snowfall, and I’ve been known to shed tears at the overwhelming beauty of the world in February. I actually enjoy shoveling snow off the front steps. I don’t get tired of any of it until late-March slush and wind seize the season. Many of my poems talk about winter, the beauty it gives us, and the metaphoric life lessons it provides. I admit I’m a bit (pleasantly, I hope) crazy in some respects, but I am convinced this is one of the sanest pieces of my heart and soul.
So, I was surprised when I felt discouraged at leaving a week of balmy, 66-degree days in Florida to come home to snowbound southern New England. I did not want to don boots and gloves and hat just to take the trash out. Did not want to walk through a maze of white paths to get to my backyard. Did not want to wonder where my backyard was. Refused to think about how two-dimensional the masses of snow make the world feel. Did not want to write. (How can that be?) I did not want to do any of it.
Yet, here I am. And I wonder if there is a beginning of fundamental change in me. A shift. I ask if my winter love is leaving. I could — and may — feel bereft, but I have learned there is not much sense in dwelling forever on grief that comes with loss. I will wait to see how my winter discouragement fits into my being.
I have no winter poem to offer, but here is “Flying and Walking on Clouds” — a poem that talks about facing and shedding discouragement.
Thanks for stopping by.
Flying and Walking on Clouds
When you fly above the clouds,
believe you can drop down
to their absolute austerity
to walk across the vast,
uncolored plain of isolation
dragging your baggage behind you
as its old, worn, tow rope
cuts and burns into your shoulder,
the burden causing your body to bend
such that your heart is ahead of your feet,
your head is ahead of your heart,
and thoughts are not to be found.
As your steps grow long and slow,
and the perilous thinning of cloud
tells you to leave the bags
to be lost and alone
in their great, heavy mass,
stretch yourself thin,
arms and legs dispersing your weight
as you lie prone on
your own cold crucifix
in the effort to save your Self.
pools on the skin,
drips from the eye,
falls as rain,
creating a hole in the whiteness,
a path in the air that will carry you,
rolling over and over and down,
to finally land softly
on earth nourished to green
by your tears.