“It was beginning winter,
An in-between time,
The landscape still partly brown:
The bones of weeds swinging in the wind,
Above the blue snow…”
So begins my favorite poem of the last few years, by Theodore Roethke, “It was beginning winter.” As the poem goes on, the view is clear in my mind of the dry grasses and weeds, snowy fields, the quiet, and the light moving. But more than the the winter surroundings, I feel myself in that place, silent and aware of the bittersweet impact of the season. As the living things die, even momentarily, so the spirit and the mind are stilled. We wait, for the returning light, the new movement, the “lively understandable spirit” that once entertained us to come again. Finding those moments of stillness is what I hope to do this winter, and out of them, to recognize the resulting growth.