A Psalm for the Season

Once again, we approach the season of endings and of beginnings, of long, dark nights and bright celebrations. And, yes, the cold and the snow. Whether you relish or despise or just try to get through the weather at this time of year depends upon your perspective.

I recently ran across something I had written while I was in theological school. It’s the equivalent of a modern-day psalm, incorporating some of the structures and patterns in the biblical psalms. Writing it gave me an opportunity to reflect on my attitudes toward the winter season, and I offer it to you for your own reflection.


Some call you the season of ugliness
With dirty snow and leafless trees
But I say winter is a lovely time.

Pristine after a snowfall, trees blanketed in perfection.
Some curse you as they slide on slippery roadways with anxious hearts
Careening toward mundane destinations,
While others find wonder, strapping on skis and gliding into the wood with glad hearts,
Moving in rhythm toward unknown delights.

Those who look for the dark side of life will find it
Just as surely as God’s handiwork is revealed to those who seek it.
It is in the delicate lacework on the edge of an icy stream;
It is in the contrast of red twig dogwoods against sparkling white.

I have found God in the wintry wood.
On a snow covered trail I felt God’s presence.
I planted skis and poles and heard only crunching sounds as I ascended the hillside.
I climbed steadily until I reached the top.
The wood was silent, the sky a silken cloth of purest blue;
The oaks stood in quiet majesty, the snow a royal carpet over the hibernating ground.
I stood exhilarated and in awe of your beauty
The beauty of you, winter, and the splendor of God.

Some call you the season of ugliness
But I say winter is a lovely time.

Whatever your perspective on the winter months, this month, as we prepare for the holidays, my hope for you is that you will find moments of stillness and moments of joyful attentiveness to the small miracles that are all around us.