Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The First Snowfall

Here's a re-post of an old poem of mine. This week brought the first significant snow of the winter here in Maine, so I thought I'd share this poem I wrote back in my seminary days, reflecting on the first snowfall of a Colorado winter several years ago.

The First Snowfall

I wander wearily out of class today
And am greeted by gentle joy
That floats down, soft and white,
From the heavens.
I cannot stay too long
In the warmth of my apartment;
The wildness of the day calls me out
To embrace it,
To laugh in the wonder of its beauty.
I don my red hooded sweatshirt
And venture out into the cold.
My nose and cheeks begin to numb
Almost instantly,
But I stop and fill my exultant lungs.
I love the biting freshness of the air
And the gentle fury of the snow.
I am the only one on the trails today,
So I wander alone,
Hands tucked in my sweatshirt pouch,
Like a vermillion monk from a bygone age.
An otherworldly mist hangs over the pond
And over the rushing creek,
Swirling in the chill breezes
Where the water meets the wind.
Four geese fly overhead in formation,
Then break off, two to the east and two to the west,
Opening the curtain of the world’s stage before me.
The stolid heron regards me strangely
As I greet him at the water’s edge,
His long neck pulled back
Against the warmth of his breast.
But he wants no visitors today,
So I wander on, into the little wooded strip
That graces the banks of the stream.
And there I pause,
And watch as the busy, raucous world
Is blanketed in the quiet peace
Of the winter’s first snow.
There is laughter in each snowflake,
A silent delight in the turning of the days,
As God welcomes me home again.

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