Winter blessing

(Written during a winter of discontent)
Taste winter – let it nourish you.
Drink deep from the icy draught
the frozen lake holds out;
it is medicine for the soul,
more potent
than the sugared promises of summer.
Let the broken trees,
made wise by their losses,
cradle you in skeletal arms.
May the open sky be your canopy;
a vast expanse of possibilities,
uncluttered by the mirage of warmer days.
Let the biting wind gnaw at exposed flesh,
kneading your inner marrow
into a leaner shape.
Allow the whiteness of driven snow
to purify the landscape of your mind –
washing clean the gaudy colours
of the rushing world.
Let the clogging mud stick firm to weary feet,
a reminder to hold fast to the good earth.
Listen to the stillness of air now emptied of birds
and reflect upon your inner songs
which grow in silence.
Look deep beneath the crust of frosty earth,
where dormant shoots pregnant with promise,
tell of the births yet to come through you.
Here the lone shriek of the curlew
echoing across dark waters;
throw back your head
and join its desolate cry
as it waits
for certain spring.

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