This Winter - January 2021





This Winter

January 2021



Waiting in winter is not a happy thing, or even exciting, not like waiting for a taxi when you leave for a trip,

or waiting for your child’s name to be called at graduation.

No, waiting in winter is a discipline of the heart; it’s

waiting through the hard rain and the mud, and the hibernating seeds,

waiting through the not knowing and the knowing, and waiting through the night when we walk into puddles of fear, and step into wet holes of anxiety up to our knees.



This winter took all my patience and turned it into a vacant stare. Turned darkness not black, but stark white and frozen.

This winter turned my faith that what’s frozen will eventually thaw, into a challenge, into a taunt, into a tease of doubt I tried not to hear.



This winter I found a cardinal’s nest on my porch. She’s been coming back for ten years. Courage, that stuff of the heart, is the voice that will not let me ignore an echo of song. That nest was still on my porch from last spring, a reminder that maybe she will return to raise yet another family, or maybe her grandchildren by now.



This winter I prayed for the courage to keep memories warm. This winter I folded my hand over a smooth black stone that’s cool and warm at the same time. The stone remembers it came from mother earth’s fiery center. It reminded me that perfect love casts out fear. It reminded me that this winter will end if not sooner, then later, and life will have the last word. The bird knows that, her children and their children.



This winter required that I give up knowing for not knowing, give up being certain, for uncertainty. This winter required that I remember that the dark night embraces us with hope, and promises the fire of life, forever.




© Linda Beatrice Brown


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