Saturday, December 18, 2010


And yet another winter begins as noted by this poem read by our rabbi Esther to open today's Shabbat service:

First Snow by Mary Oliver

The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles; nowhere
the familiar things:
stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fileds
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain - not a single
answer has been found -
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.

It was a gentle beginning, white and cold and beautiful, but not really such a big deal.


Anonymous lr said...

True yesterday was a simple beginning for our new season, but earlier this year we had just such snows. Interesting, however, the public response was not as receptive as Mary Oliver's lovely poem. "Snowmaggen" was the term used most often to define the deep quiet and bright light of our snow.

5:27 PM  
Blogger wordwitch said...

Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday - be careful out on those icy streets.



6:28 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I love the first snow of the season. Ours came but was a little disappointing as it was only flurries. I want a true Nor'easter! The one headed our way is going out to sea - maybe the next one... I agree with mary Oliver. A good snowfall transforms the familiar.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbara, thanks for sharing this poem! (And I continue to love Esther from afar.) That last phrase -- from "and though the questions that have assailed us remain" to the end -- wow: what a beautiful summary of spiritual re-entry into each new day, each new chapter, each new year of life. Thanks for this reminder that every day, every MOMENT is truly a new beginning; I needed it today! :-)


1:09 PM  
Blogger e said...

I think I would love to meet and chat with rabbi Esther. You are very lucky. No snow here, though we have had a colder start to winter than I ever remember...

I had to buy a coat, mittens and a hat the other day and this flat is drafty.

Hope you stay warm!

9:40 PM  

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