November 20, 2016

Winter Can Be Beautiful - Joylene M. Bailey



I’m pretty sure I am in a winter season right now, as far as my writing goes. I haven't written anything that I feel comfortable putting my signature to. And I spent some time being discouraged because of it.  

But then I remembered that life is a series of seasons, and this is a season.
And, seasons change … eventually.

Genesis 8:22 - “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Winter is a natural part of God’s creation. And it is a natural part of human existence. Why do we expect to not experience winters? Why do we become fearful when winters come upon us? Winters can be cold and bitter but there are also parts of the season that are quite wonderful.

I am not eloquent enough at the moment to describe the beauty of winter (I’m in a winter of my own, remember?), so I'm relying on some exquisite and expressive words to remind us how beautiful winter can be. I found these poems here.

A Winter Bluejay - by Sara Teasdale
Crisply the bright snow whispered,
Crunching beneath our feet;
Behind us as we walked along the parkway,
Our shadows danced,
Fantastic shapes in vivid blue.
Across the lake the skaters
Flew to and fro,
With sharp turns weaving
A frail invisible net.
In ecstasy the earth
Drank the silver sunlight;
In ecstasy the skaters
Drank the wine of speed;
In ecstasy we laughed
Drinking the wine of love.
Had not the music of our joy
Sounded its highest note?
But no,
For suddenly, with lifted eyes you said,
"Oh look!"
There, on the black bough of a snow flecked maple,
Fearless and gay as our love,
A bluejay cocked his crest!
Oh who can tell the range of joy
Or set the bounds of beauty?



Winter Trees - by William Carlos Williams
All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.



Winter - by Walter de la Mare
Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day's journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.


A Winter Dawn - by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Above the marge of night a star still shines,
And on the frosty hills the sombre pines
Harbor an eerie wind that crooneth low
Over the glimmering wastes of virgin snow.

Through the pale arch of orient the morn
Comes in a milk-white splendor newly-born,
A sword of crimson cuts in twain the gray
Banners of shadow hosts, and lo, the day!



Woods In Winter - by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.

O'er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.

Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!

But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.


Winter-Time - by Robert Louis Stevenson
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.


After The Winter - by Claude McKay
Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning's white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We'll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire to shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade.


*****************

Instead of getting uptight and worried about our winter seasons, what if we decided to be content? It might take some courage, but it is a choice. What if we waited expectantly for Spring but were active in the waiting? 

After all, I am not JUST a writer; I enjoy other things as well. So I, for one, will embrace this time. Winter can be beautiful.


  


photo credit: `James Wheeler <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/24128704@N08/25673217581">Peaceful Winter</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

photo credit: Jeffsphotoart <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/134935842@N02/23202713533">First snow of 2015 2</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>







Joylene is embracing winter in Edmonton, where she lives with the Cowboy, Babe, and a cat named Calvin. You can find some of her posts at Scraps of Joy.

10 comments:

  1. You chose some amazing poems for us to enjoy. I am a 'fan' of Longfellow (who can go wrong with any of the classics?) but I was especially captivated by the first two, by Sara Teasdale and William Carlos Williams. I am currently doing a poetry unit with my English classes (9s, 11s and 12s) so this post fits right in. I may even reference some of these poems in Mondays class since they are so fitting. Thanks!

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    1. I really like those two too. Captivating, as you said. Glad to be of service. šŸ˜Š

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  2. Thanks, Joylene, for this reminder to be content no matter what the season in the year or in our lives. Amen!

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    1. Sharon, it can definitely be a hard lesson - learning to be content in EVERY circumstance, as Paul encouraged us in Phil. 4:11-13. But I'm working on it, and able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

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  3. As the snow falls outside today, I enjoyed these poems so very much! Content in the winter :) Thanks, Joy

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    1. They are wonderful poems. Glad you enjoyed them.

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  4. Thanks for sharing the poems. It's true, some seasons are more difficult than others and being content in all seasons has its share of difficulties as well.

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    1. Very true, Vickie. Even summer can have its own difficulties. And being content is something that is learned. It doesn't come naturally. At least, not to me.

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  5. Thank you Joylene, We need reminding of the beauty that is around us and visible in all seasons. I have called myself a "seeker of beauty" for some years, many of them in the grey zone. I really appreciated the poems as well.

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  6. Such beautiful poetry! Thank you for sharing these, Jocelyn, and for reminding us that God uses each season for His plans. Blessings.

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