Betwixt the distant sombre mountains
And the indigo tapestry of night
A beautifully fading orange glow
Displays the dying ecstasy of light.
A single star sits on the far horizon.
In silent silhouette trees stand still and bare.
The darkening night is cold and clear.
A late bird flaps heavily through the air.
The bleakness of winter is almost here.
Winter arrives, unheralded, unexpected,
Exulting in triumph of darkness and cold,
Touching with icy grip, uttering “Come,
Welcome to my still, quiet, anonymous fold.”
I think of all those consumed by Winter,
The young, joyously dancing in the sun,
Minds too youthful to see beyond the shine
The unknown billions whose race has been run
Stretching back to the beginning of Time.
Cold passes; the eastern sky is red and gold.
The sun rises into a cloudless blue.
Days lengthen, buds blossom and bear fruit.
Life inevitably begins again anew
Its intricate weaving of youth and age.
Children play their absorbed charming games,
Their laughter tinkles, their bright eyes shine.
They grow in laughter, struggle, love and tears
As Earth towards Winter inevitably declines.
Spring is sweet joy. Winter is hard tears.
The child on the knee brings laughter’s relief
But the quiet stillness of the final years
Is to the full heart such deep loss and grief.
Love causes this paradox of pleasure and pain,
This tangled co-mingling of joy and hurt,
This rich complexity that life must bring,
This purest expression of the human heart
Trapping us forever between Winter and Spring.
Dark Winter of Death, in strange paradox
Hope rises triumphantly from your cold.
From you the eye of faith is forced to behold
A world where Winter will be no more.
You liberate the great blessing of hope,
Force dreaming of a world free from woe,
Beyond this turbulent sea of pain,
Beyond sorrow, heartache, sin and death,
To where those you have touched can rise again.
The distant mountains are sombre and black
But stars are studding the velvet night.
In the morning the thick darkness will pass
And the sky will be filled with the glory of light.
Thus each day brings in symbol my treasured gold,
That you arise, O majesty of the morning,
Arise in greater glory than the sun,
To banish the darkness and dispel the cold.
O Lord Jesus, Light, Life, Love, Joy, Peace, come.