The raw beauty of winter blows bigger than Disney ice queens and sentient snow men.
Winter’s craft is as a carver,
Shaving fine flakes of ice from spinning clouds, etchings in white.
I see the small mud whirlpools stirred by the wind of my boots, eddies of sleet, clay, and sodden hay.
Earthy pom-poms dangle from the mane of my mare. Eyes bright with winter, she buries her muzzle into the palm of my hand, tastes a memory of summer in an apple slice.
There is beauty in the slash and whip of willow branches, golden-brown laces tightening the darkening sky.
The pines and cedars rear up in the wind, shedding cones and needles in a perfumed mist.
The trail of horses’ hoof prints merge; amorphous hollows filling with
Browns, greys and sullen gold-green, all blending in a winter soup seasoned with cedar-red bark bits.
Yes, there is beauty;
Fresh sculptures that last for seconds, minutes, hours, depending on the carver’s caprice.
There are sudden gifts in the blurring, rain-drenched moments, too.
The ruddy glow on the horizon lingering long after the thunderheads have taken the apex,
A silver slit of a moon briefly singing through clouds.
The layers of winter are more varied than even my bulky wear,
I see the brittle beauty of a bush thrown by frost-hard wind, cast into shape, then melting, merging into the chill fog.
I hear the crying call of the coyote that tracks the back field, answered by an unseen forest of relatives,
The trill of a wren cuts the cracking wind, and the soft sudden patter of movement in the shrubs defies the stark lines of a frozen landscape.
Even while rain slips sideways under my brim, through my fringe of hair,
I feel the night-beauty of winter forming behind my eyes.
You are like that, aren’t you?
That laser Christ-star drilling through eons of dark days;
A brilliant beam cloaked in deceptive drabness,
Hidden in tawny straw, layered in cloths cut from last summer’s fiber.
Your Wind blows deep, nothing spared, nothing wasted.
I see behind my eyes your vision when I look triangulated: without, within, above.
Laser Christ-light piercing fogged brain matter;
Baby brightness on a December night.
May Christmas be a time of reflection, renewal, and rejoicing as we welcome the Redeemer back into our world.