december afternoon, ten thousand feet

hazed by snow, sun slips
t’ward skyline; aspens stand, hail—
still, chill sentinels


My wife and I went high into the mountains on a getaway for our anniversary. Above Strawberry Reservoir, on one of the shortest days of the year, the winter light faded early. Even before the sun set, it was diminished by layer upon layer of cloud and ice droplets.

Once we turned off the snowmobile engine and just breathed, the quiet was intoxicating.

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Finches

for Ethan, Lauren, Maia, Caleb, Sean, Dylan, and Genevieve

image credit: yannajenn (Flickr)

This past spring, we had a nest of finches beneath the eaves over our front porch. There was a single day when the baby birds looked almost exactly like this. The next day the nest was empty. Image credit: yannajenn (Flickr)


Yesterday just gaping jaws,
Cheeping feebly, pink blind heads…
Now tufts sprout over each bright eye,
Fluffed sepia wings overflow the nest.

The ground’s so far, my brave wee birds.
Rock won’t give like down or flesh.
There’s time enough to leap and soar,
Today, stay here and grow and rest.

With dawn you’ll perch and lift your wings.
Stretch muscle, feather, meet the wind.
And swell the song you’re born to sing
And dart and dazzle, earth unpinned.

But dirt’s so hard, my sweet, young birds.
Storm clouds soak the proudest crest.
There’s time enough to leap and soar,
Today, stay here and grow and rest.

Tomorrow, not today, sweet birds.
Tomorrow you can flit so free.
But here and now, enjoy the warmth–
Let your heart beat next to me.

The world is dazzling, fresh and wide,
But also hungry, fierce, and wet.
I know you need to leave, to fly,
But I could teach you so much, yet.

The dew and dapple beckon, yes–
But snow’s no friend, and night’s too long.
And solo ends can cruelly jest,
So I’ll enfold you with my song.

While I have you in the nest,
I’ll love you, swear to soon set free.
Oh, here and now, enjoy the warmth–
Let your heart beat next to me.

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Not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father

IMG_6097I was sitting in the kitchen this morning when I heard a thud and glimpsed an explosion of feathers at the patio window. This beautiful little bird had flown head-on into the glass. It twitched for a few seconds and then lay still.

Jesus said that no bird would fall to the ground without God’s sorrow. Such an interesting–and poignant–glimpse into the divine nature! I had never appreciated it until this morning.

 

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