The Lesson of Winter

The Lesson of Winter January 30, 2012

It’s been cloudy for days. We feel so gray.

The snow keeps falling. But for an hour on

Thursday night the clouds part and the moon,

almost full, makes everything bright—the ice

like diamonds stuck in the gutters, the garbage

can wheels unable to move, happy to be at rest,

the nose of the deer as it nibbles the apple you

tossed for it to find. Our dog’s eyes, suddenly

full with her ancient bottom of wolf and her

irrepressible love for everything. Breathing in

the cold, the inside of time is close, like a story

held open till the center of all story shows its

face. And every crest of snow seems blue, yet

nothing is blue. The moon so bright it makes

us look for the sun. The way one honest hand

lifting a particular lie makes us look for truth in

the bottom of history. And the sun keeps spilling

its light off the moon, off us, off our dog whose

breath drops it like silver dust on the snow. Now

the clouds return as if the night is a soft magician

closing its robe. In the days that follow, I am com-

forted to know that the truth of all that keeps us

going is just beyond the closing robe. So powerful

it can spill through a torn heart and light our way.


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