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The moon sheds silver shadows on the sky,
blue shadows on the snow;
the house-beams crack all night,
startling us with the news
that it is colder than we thought.
“Winter is closing in,” we say,
but winter moves us outward in imagination
to learn how cold it is to be exiled from the sun,
how lonely the darkness,
how welcome the light of any approaching star.
HERE IN THE NORTH
The radiators wakened me
(four a.m., after a night of blizzard)
alarmed me with their frantic gushing,
a niagara roaring through the system,
gurgling, swirling, growling
through every pipe, making the circuit
of the house with urgency.
Anxiety washed over me — not just
concern about the state of the furnace,
but dread of where we might be carried
beyond sleep, through the storm:
to what cold shore?
Day emerges with a rare shining:
not remnants of moonlight
or the early edge of dawn,
but the sheen of new snow
binding every branch.
Somehow the snowfall invaded
without waking us,
took over without resistance,
left us helpless at the window,
captives of beauty and cold.
When you live in the north
where winter, white ogre,
grips the calendar for months,
then a bird’ s song in mid-March
tastes like Spanish wine,
and your heart can easily miss a beat
at the sight
of a puddle.
Clare leads us into the depths of Advent.
Following along with Papa Francisco she calls us to be “poor with the poor.”
For Advent reading: THE GREAT REFORMER by A, Ivereigh is the best of the best.
Austen tells the story of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born into a lower middle class immigrant family, joined the Jesuits, himself called to the people of the slums, connecting and worshipping with our brothers and sisters of other communities, his pectoral cross, Christ the Good Shepherd.
Blessings on your journey!
These are the days when the whole pattern
is spread before us: the long intricate past,
the wars and wanderings, prophets and kings;
and the future as well, the vineyards and orchards
of the age to come, the safe and happy children
playing in the streets, the high road to peace
And our eyes are drawn to the center,
to the jewel at heart of the plotted web,
to a girl in a village and her ordinary life,
her willing response to mystery
when it came seeking her,
to the answer she gave
and the light it poured
over the whole story.