Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep
I have always loved the imagery of this poem. It is one we were required to memorize it in school, and ever since just the thought of the Winter Solstice brings this poem to mind along with the urge to find myself in a still, quiet woods watching the snow fall.
On this darkest evening of the year I am feeling a little this way- a quiet observer, watching. . . listening, and holding out my hands to the soft glitter falling through the air . . .
Eleven days (but who's counting?) and the computer is still in the shop and I have been trying to see this as an opportunity for silence, away from the usual distractions; trying to be still and quiet, even as life keeps moving.
Silence, you know, it's funny.
Not that I am ever really silent, of course. Even the horse is shaking those harness bells and there is that restless, nervous part of me that avoids silence, thinks there must be some mistake . . .
until slowly, slowly, I choose to become comfortable with quiet ...
the sweep of wind, downy flake . . . I notice . . . and listen and as quietly as snow falling and just as mysterious and just as beautiful and yes, even as certain . . . there is a still small voice . . .
and I hear and I am heard and why do I choose clattering noise over this beauty and mercy falling from the sky? And prayer settles over me, into me, and it is as simple as breathing, just as basic. Now things begin to become clear- the path ahead, the miles to go . . . those promises I have made ringing across time.
I am grateful for this period of silence, coinciding with the longest nights of the year- these lovely, dark, deep days- when it seems so appropriate- necessary, even, to be still, and quiet, listening.
Tonight is the longest night of the year, and in this darkest night we give thanks, for a shaft of sunlight pierces the darkness, and tomorrow we begin our journey to spring.
Hope to be back to blogging soon . . . .