We feel it. The loss of the warmth and easy comfort that spring and summer gave us, and we turn now into the face of cold weather. Yes, it is here. It is November. Although winter does not officially begin until December 21 this year, we see its chill gaze over the rim and we feel its ice breath.
It sharpens and awakens us as every sense is awakened to some kind of new life. Or, at least we tell ourselves that. For some they huddle down in warm clothing or blankets or grandma’s quilt. For others, they embrace the frigid snap with unbridled excitement that leaves many of us somewhat bewildered. Yet here we are. All of us are in some way transformed.
I am somewhere between the two. I am only half in love with the colder seasons. Just bring me hot coffee and a good book, I’ll be fine. Yes, I’ll run and hike the trails and shovel snow, but more than that, I will see the beauty there. Whatever it is for you, grab that big fluffy hat or wrap a blanket around yourself or drag the snow board out because it is time for a change and we are all in this together. But always be on the lookout for the wonder. It is there for us to feast on and enjoy. And for some of us the wonder becomes a kind of consolation and healing.
The early mornings still have me and I write. I have written for many years. In November 1975 I wrote a poem. Now forty-eight years later I came across it and revised it for you. Maybe it will help us all embrace the cold with a new love. Here it is.
With Each Wonder Of the healing in nature
With each wonder mend your tired wounds that spill such anxious laughter in the wind,
the mysterious wind, a faintest stir of a wooing above the meadow there, made of grasses, scrub, and scattered wood,
these in their quiet kiss and subtle beauty lying still the illness of your dark and crazy storm,
your harried days now lifeless and without strength, dead rigid and grotesque in fading empty light, a confusion come to crush your wingless aching soul,
yet now in gentle easing hush a silence stills the air, and here no false conceit to stir unrest within,
a healing comeliness, a breeze benevolent now borne, a calm and sweet embrace on heaven’s easy wind.
Originally written November 1975, revised November 2023.
Lastly, a reminder for those interested in things divine. I have a new Substack “A Curious Light” that launched on October 1. These essays are devoted to my thoughts on Scripture, on life with God and things eternal. This morning I posted Out on the Great Deep. Please give it a taste, it is free, and consider becoming a regular reader/subscriber.
It is October and an autumn crisp is upon us all. I feel a frigid chill.
The woodlands know how to wait quietly and endure, to take the seasons as they are. I should be so patient with the turn of things. I need to listen more for they are speaking.
I continue to write very early most mornings. It never stops for it is the turn of things with me, this writing of poems and stories, this quiet revealing of my inner world. And I wait for these scribbles to each find their season in the turn of things, their place to show blossom and bear fruit. Yes, all in their time.
My story “Kurpa” was published this June in Jerry Jazz Musician. It is based on a story my mother used to tell us of her early life. Think 1943 and the Second World War. Give it a read if you like.
I have something special for those interested in things divine. My Substack “A Curious Light” was launched on October 1. These essays are devoted to my thoughts on Scripture, on life with God and things eternal with an occasional poem thrown in for good measure. My plan is for twice monthly releases. Please give it a taste, it is free, and consider becoming a regular reader/subscriber.
Well, it is back to my writer’s studio. I feel a creative wind and words are filling my head once again, so I guess it is time. Life is an ever turning, and thank you for being part of the journey and the wonder of it all.
Serendipitously, my daughter Abbey had an essay published in the very same issue. Her wonderful piece is entitled Theatre of the Mind. Please take a look.
My apologies for not posting more regularly, but I confess I have been hard at work writing. The results have been good – three novels, numerous short stories and essays, and a fair amount of poetry. I look forward to sharing much more in the future, but I will leave it at that for now.
Is this a season of isolation or is it a pathway out into the wide wonder of the trails?
Whether you’re a trail runner, an avid hiker, or just quietly meandering along the forest paths looking for a bit of alone time, my guess is that you are getting out beneath the blue heaven. Does it mystify you? Does your heart leap forward savoring the beauty? Yeah, it is the same with me. It’s just wild, but I love to breath deep and gaze out far across the woodlands and the water. It makes me celebrate and almost laugh with joy.
You may enjoy my book “Laughter Near the Edge of Heaven”. I share my thoughts and reflections as a trail runner and lover of nature. Come along with me and share beauty. There is so much to see.
We face mind-bending challenges. How will we meet them? Some will lead and others will help with all their might. We must be encouragers of others, helpers and kind, spreading joy and hope, and lending a good word along the way. So, let us go together. Let us overcome the obstacles that confront us. Take heart. Be encouraged. It’s time to run hard and true.
In the midst of the storm, we can still find beauty and wonder.
On long trail runs through the forest when the miles seem to overcome me, it is then that I often stumble into the most profound beauty and wonder.
Here are my thoughts – bit.ly/NearHeaven Author’s website – bit.ly/HenryLewisWriter
Whether you are a trail runner, a hiker, or just love walking in the woods; if you love the wonder of creation and the beauty of the outdoors; if you love finding the fingerprints of God in the most delicate blossom in spring or the majesty of the mountains, you will enjoy this book.
Come on the journey “Sometimes when I run I discover a new world, an enchanted place for dreaming, where my imagination drifts high into the heavens and seems to brush the divine. Almost as an afterthought, I skirt the edges of eternity, and run past a thousand, sacred moments in my pursuit of lesser things.”
Out on the trails for a short run. I could feel the knife edge of winter in the air. Blustery and cold. There is a change to each person, a drawing into ourselves. We sense it at this time of year and prepare for winter. We remember dead frigid chill-bone runs and dangerous glare ice. Yes, the blast cold will come. It is always so. But for now we will have taken refuge within ourselves. We prepare our hearts. The winter will teach us new things. Yes, today I could feel the knife edge of winter. But just the edge. The trail goes on.
You will run today. Your thoughts will drift along a thousand rivulets, your eyes wide as you gaze across an infinity in your mind. You like the solitude the run affords. You find a comfort in your thoughts along the trails. Do we see as we ought to see? Do we smell for deep forest and feel the wind against our skin? Are the dirt and rocks a mere signature left for us beneath this wide heaven? You wonder and you are overwhelmed. It cannot be measured. It is all so beautiful. So simple, yet profound.
“Sometimes our trails are made of dirt and rocks and brush and roots and cause our hearts to leap skyward in praise and worship. And sometimes our trails are woven through a string of days and through the hearts and lives of others, and leave our spirits trembling on the rim of eternity as we watch Him touch those lives through our frail words. The trails that God lays are trails laden with the fragrance of His glory, and they lead indelibly into His purposes – far above the ways of men and the pursuits of this earth. Along the trails that God prepares we walk and run into the divine unknown; a place where the Lord rules in sovereign wonder. We plan our days, yet in the end it is the Lord over it all . In this place of wonders, I find continued solace in His faithfulness, above the passing struggles of each day…. But then there was India and the trail it provided me.”
From Laughter Near the Edge of Heaven, Henry Lewis