Posts Tagged ‘the comfort of silence’

‘Samhain’ a Celtic Winter poem, and some thoughts on the season.

December 16, 2011

This season, the start of Winter, has always held a lot of emotion.  I love Winter, and  heating with a wood burning stove hasn’t yet dulled my enthusiasm for the season.  Perhaps it’s the quiet that falls at dusk, that thin, pale veil of mystery just before the black of night when the huge live oaks and pecans are the only ‘structures’ between you and the rest of the world.

For me it is the beauty and wonder of a season that slides from the crisp Autumn to the unearthy beauty of Winter.  Nature holds the key for me, and especially the deep silence and stillness of Winter.  

There is a deeper reason of this season for me. It calls to contemplation, to slowing down the daily routines, to read, to walk amongst the brittle leaves and especially to the silence that surrounds  like a blanket of peace. This is a spiritual season, without the trappings of religion.

Christmas is the last hurrah of noise and color before the real message of this mysterious season appears.  A well-running woodstove, a blanket, a book of Robert Frost, cats snuggling around  and those huge, silent trees outside, the beauty of their exposed black limbs against a gun-metal sky with the promise of snow:  this is the comfort and promise of Winter, that allows or enforces even, this solitude, this time of contemplation and renewal.

Lady Nyo


Dark mysterious season,

when the light doesn’t

quite reach the ground,

the trees shadow puppets

moving against the gray of day.

I think over the past year

praying there has been a

kindling in my soul,

the heart opened, warmed

and the juiciness of life is

more than in the loins–

a stream of forgiveness

slow flowing through the tough fibers

not stopper’d with an underlying


but softened with compassion.

This season of constrictions,

unusual emptiness,

brittle like dried twigs

desiccated by hoar frost

just to be endured.

I wrap myself in wool and

watch the migrations–

first tender song birds which harken

back to summer,

then Sandhill cranes,

legs thin banners

streaming behind white bodies,

lost against a snowy sky.

They lift off to a middling cosmos,

while I, earth-bound,

can only flap the wings of my shawl,

poor plumage for such a flight,

and wonder about my own destination.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010, 2011  from “White Cranes of Heaven”, published by, 2011

%d bloggers like this: