Under the blanket of snow
shades of brown, scrubby,
matted grass peaks through
in the colder North.
The bleakness even covers the rainy winter season
of Southern and Western climates.
All lies dormant, dreary, and dark.
All is resting for a time –
time to recoup, refresh, to reenergize.
This is nature’s way of preparing for the first bursts of spring.
This gloomy season of winter holds within,
its embrace the Lenten bleakness of
the parade of Christians each waiting
to be marked with the ashen cross.
Reminder of deaths: winters, loved ones, our own –
let us pray for the courage to mourn them all.
Eager to jump quickly into spring,
the longer but colder days hem us in.
Eager to leap into Easter’s alleluias,
Lent draws us back
inward to face the cross.
We need winter’s solace and Lent’s sacrifice
to bring us round,
cleaned and scrubbed;
fasted and forgiven,
prayed and reflected;
given and giving up.
In secret we know how much we need
these forty days.
Facing the cross brings us to that place where
we can truly know the glories of Easter –
sending up its tender green shoots
Carol A Gura