Delighting in Winter Lights

Tonight I relished the cold as much as I could with my sweetheart at the NC Arboretum.  To be fair I have a metal plate in my neck and I’m quite aware of it during the sub freezing temperatures that we walked through listening to carols and admiring sparkling lights.  

There was a certain joie de vivre though that we seized as we listened to the jazzy renditions of holiday tunes and my hubby took umpteen pictures of bonsai LED glowing in the dim. 

I thought of three different poems tonight and I hope these three poems will light your winter:

1- You, Darkness

You, darkness, that I come from

I love you more than all the fires

that fence in the world, 

for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone

and then no one outside learns of you. 
But the darkness pulls in everything-

shapes and fires, animals and myself, 

how easily it gathers them! –

powers and people-
and it is possible a great presence is moving near me. 
I have faith in nights.  — Rilke


2 – Song of The Open Road

Next was Whitman.  There was a Christmas wishing tree.  My husband asked if I wanted to write a wish for the tree and my answer was, as it typically is when posited with these dilemmas:

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune. 

This is one of my favorite poems, though exceedingly long. I like the excerpts of it in “Singing: The Living Tradition”.

3 – Shab-e Yalda

Lastly this poem was read at a special solstice service a few years ago by an incredible woman who goes to the UUFF. 

This winter solstice fires will burn all night,

with sparks cascading; messages in flight

I’m always excited to learn about other cultures and traditions.  

The walk was highly ontological–chilling enough to be present.  I didn’t really focus on poetry during the walk but now that I’m home am glad I can.  


Do you have any poems that brighten your winter?

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