Tuesday, January 3, 2012

THE COLORS OF WINTER

Our thermometer said 15 below this morning. That's Fahrenheit. For those of you in the rest of the world, that is about -26 degrees Celsius. That's a little bit cold, but a nice winter morning.

THE COLORS OF WINTER

 by Donald Rhody

I walked, with my son, down a forested road.
We tramped together, ankles deep in snow.
He in one tire track, I in the other,
Two lines of footprints, side by side in two rows.

The air was cold with that chill that seems to come
On an express wind, straight from the pole.
Our breath was puffing out like a frosty steam.
We looked like two train engines out for a stroll.

But the sun was out and tried to fight the cold.
(Between the two, the cold had the advantage).
I lifted my face toward the sky
To gain what little warmth the sun could manage.

I felt my face cleansed by air so pure,
My lungs refreshed with a breath so clean –
It is air that sparkles; it is air that shines
With the light of the sun’s most vivid beam.

A few clouds drifted overhead,
Each one a great storehouse of snow.
Each waiting to let their gift fall
On the fields and forest below.

A few crystal flakes filtered on down
Through holes in these great bags of jewels.
As the flakes fell, they frolicked and played
Like little children let out of school.

I watched the snow settle onto the trees –
Those great gray pillars with heads held high.
Each treetop, with snow-laden branches,
Stitched fine gilded lacework in the sky.

I saw the green limbs of balsams and pines,
Each weighed down with their own load of snow,
Like miserly merchants weighed down with riches,
But refusing to let any coin go.

The intense blue of the heavens
The snow, so dazzling white it could blind –
The gray of the trees linking earth with the sky,
And the wealth-laden green of the pines –

These are the colors of winter;
Each one exquisite and fine.
On that cold winter day, we drank in the scene,
Each a flavor of our north country wine.

Some men refuse life’s harsher side,
And look for more temperate places,
Where the snow does not fall and the sun gives its heat,
And the air does not sting on their faces.

But what of life is left unknown and unseen
When one only makes comfort his goal?
One can never know beauty, never know joy,
If he chooses only what he can control.

Is not our life journey the same?
We can choose security and ease.
Or, we can pull on our boots and venture on out
To see what beauty there is to see.

2 comments:

  1. Always love your poems, and the photo is certainly worth a thousand words!

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  2. I enjoyed your writing about the Winter walk. It brought back to mind the times I also as a young girl walked out in the cold, sometimes for fun, and at times to go with my dad and handle one end of that two "man saw. I had to fill in for a big brother at times. The crisp, cold walk behind my dad was a delight to me. I enjoyed being his helper.
    Now my Heavenly Father walks before me and again I delight to follow where He leads..
    God bless you as you write. You conjure up pictures in my mind. I thank you and we pray for you and your work.

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