Friday, December 12, 2008

A winter garden

Frozen toes and fingers are forgotten in the magic of a winter garden. Fanciful shapes and sculpture created at the whim of whirling winds. Diamonds dusted atop pristine white. Prisms of ice reflecting color back into the light.

Most of last season is covered and hidden. Only the occasional blackened, withered foliage left to hold a place against the coming of spring.

Mary Oliver's words capture a little of the eerie silence and unnatural light of a snowfall.

The First Snow
~ Mary Oliver

The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, it's white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; Such
an oracular fever? Flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle.
Less than lovely? And only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles; nowhere
the familiar things;
Stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
glitter like castles of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and through the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain--not a single
answer has been found--
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.

A tiny snowbird suns himself on the russet stalks of Autumn Joy.