Wednesday, January 7, 2009


On this icy morning with more snow in the forecast I feel a gnawing angst. The holidays are over, and I look at the mostly blank calendar stretching before me with nothing more than day in and day out routine. This poem from Luci Shaw reminds me even this bleak month of January has cause for praise if I embrace the details of this ordinary day and hold on to the sure hope of spring.

Psalm for the January Thaw

Blessed be God for thaw, for the clear drops
that fall, one by one, like clocks ticking, from
the icicles along the eaves. For shift and shrinkage,
including the soggy gray mess on the deck
like an abandoned mattress that has
lost its inner spring. For the gurgle
of gutters, for snow melting underfoot when I
step off the porch. For slush. For the glisten
on the sidewalk that only wets the foot sole
and doesn't send me slithering. Everything
is alert to this melting, the slow flow of it,
the declaration of intent, the liquidation.

Glory be to God for changes. For bulbs
breaking the darkness with their green beaks.
For moles and moths and velvet green moss
waiting to fill the driveway cracks. For the way
the sun pierces the window minutes earlier each day.
For earthquakes and tectonic plates-earth's bump
and grind-and new mountains pushing up
like teeth in a one-year-old. For melodrama—
lightning on the sky stage, and the burst of applause
that follows. Praise him for day and night, and light
switches by the door. For seasons, for cycles
and bicycles, for whales and waterspouts,
for watersheds and waterfalls and waking
and the letter W, for the waxing and waning
of weather so that we never get complacent. For all
the world, and for the way it twirls on its axis
like an exotic dancer. For the north pole and the
south pole and the equator and everything between.


peaceliving said...

I know exactly what you mean. The empty calendar feels strange, uncomfortable. But I'm working on a post today about how I finally understand the purpose of "Ordinary Time" in the church's liturgical year. Beautiful poem.

Becoming Me said...

It's been rainy and dreary here and my thoughts echo yours. Beautiful poem...thank you for sharing.

Superhero Mom said...

Happy New Year! I think it might be because I live in Florida, or perhaps it is because my December was so incredibly busy...January is such a welcome joy to me! New beginnings...the freshness of a clean home and a brand new slate for 2009..a slate just waiting to be written upon. Ahhh...I love January. However, the poem was beautiful and so are you my friend.