A Perennial Life

Monday, January 2, 2017

Each Season's Cathedral — A Poem & Reflections on Winter

Photo Credit: Rob Zimmer Outdoors
(Pssst... He's the friend I mention.)
I'm not a fan of winter. In fact, my feeling borders on disdain. I've got a friend who loves winter. He takes the most beautiful photos you'll ever see while hiking in nature... in the dead of winter.

I guess that's why I'm not a fan... that whole "dead" thing. But I've been trying to appreciate winter for its beauty despite the effect it has on my fingertips and toes, not to mention my garden.

To help accomplish this, I've committed to taking a walk when the temperature climbs above 25 degrees. I do have exceptions to this rule — they include blizzards, snow, freezing rain, high winds, and some other inclement conditions.

For the most part I've been doing all right. On today's walk in a balmy 28 degrees, I deliberately sought out beauty. It's there. Yes, even in winter. I think that's true in the winters of life, too.

I used to write a lot of poetry and song lyrics. As of late, I confess I haven't felt compelled to do so. In fact, it's probably been a year since I've composed anything lyrical. But walking among the barren trees and snow-encrusted ditches spoke to me today and I had an urge to put it to word.

Like many others I know, I feel closest to the Creator when I'm in his Creation. It's like I'm in the middle of his cathedral. While I enjoy gathering with others to fellowship and sing songs of praise, I feel most free to worship in a chapel without walls that was crafted by God's own hand.

I hope you enjoy...

Each Season’s Cathedral

Where once like a desert
Now swift rapids flow 
The ice has succumbed 
To the current below

And seeds sown in autumn
Arise from their sleep
Defying despair
Rejecting defeat

The bloom of a crocus
Will push through the snow
Declaring hope
As its manifesto

The chatter of chickadees
Song of the lark
Awaken the sunrise
And rebuke the dark

The chorus of creatures
Of none, there is equal
It’s Spring’s hallelujah
It’s nature’s cathedral...

And soon all the forest
Is teaming with laughter
The trees are announcing
The next season’s chapter

A vast canopy
And everything lush
A spectrum of color
From God’s own paintbrush

Purple and orange
And yellow and green
Summer’s arrival
Bursts on the scene

In every garden
Beauty abounds
And every footstep
Feels like holy ground

Where you soar over troubles
On wings like an eagle
Carefree and joyful
In Summer’s cathedral...

And soon an explosion 
Of crimson and gold
Releases creation
From summer’s stronghold

The skies of September
With ominous clouds
Scatter leaves on the earth
Like a blanketing shroud

The ripe vines of harvest
Languish and wither
And cold, bitter winds 
Cause creation to shiver

The flocks, they assemble
For one more goodbye
Carried by breezes
They take to the sky

Each whisper of change
Is sacred and solemn
And their praises arise
In cathedrals of Autumn...

Then tree branches crack
And creatures, they slumber
The snow forms a cloak
To what lies asunder

Lakes form a shell
And frost starts to heave
Icicles form
And it hurts just to breathe

The animals forage
Condemning the cold
Longing for days 
From summers of old

But stop now and listen
Be reverent and still
Embrace your soul’s longing
In this season’s chill

And trust in the promise
Of another Spring sequel
There will always be hope
In Winter’s cathedral.

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