Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday, I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another. To follow, please leave your email address.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

December Evening

This evening in December is quiet, and the hills and fields are shaded in the sky’s pastel colors. Light has traveled beyond the earth’s edge and shadows will soon darken and lengthen into night. Nature begins to settle down into the blues and grays of winter.

I stand on my deck and listen to the woods — the creaking of the trees in the light wind, the light clack of empty black sunflower shells landing on each other, dropped by wrens and finches at the feeder. My thoughts move among the trees as I halfway watch the squirrels chase each other. Dusk fills the woods with shadows and I open to the mystery of what is here.


The mystery of what is here. This is what I need to feel again. The presence of the Eternal, the Power  of nature, the beauty of this landscape. I need to lose myself in this again.

If this quietness should bring back a forgotten memory, an unresolved feeling, or an insight into something that once seemed impenetrable, I would dwell on it. But I don’t need anything to happen. The presence I feel standing here listening to nature is enough.

The silence of the woods with its blue shadows, the appearance of the sparkling stars overhead, the slow journey of the earth through the dark, silent cosmos, remind me of Sigurd Olson and the words he wrote from his listening point on the shore of Lake Superior:

The movement of a canoe is like a reed in the wind. Silence is part of it, and the sounds of lapping water, bird songs, and wind in the trees. It is part of the medium through which it floats, the sky, the water, the shore.


Last week, people walked the streets of my neighborhood caroling of joy. Houses were full of revelers, and lights glowed from every decorated window. When holiday parties became overheated, people wandered outside to cool down. They listened to the woods quietly celebrating winter, and felt hope in something unseen.

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