Wintering over

A call to worship in a chilly season

by Abigail Hastings

We sing ~
In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron
Water like a stone ~

And perhaps that’s how winter
truly feels

But beneath hard surfaces
Beneath the stillness
of gray sky and ground
the earth is in a sweet repose
that kind of glorious sleep
you find in that perfectly cold room
under comforters piled high

Imagine the dormouse and brown bear
in the summer of life,
            racing at 200 heartbeats a minute
now slowing in wintertime to a mere 10…
deep in a sleep that allows them
           to survive, to conserve
that allows the mother bear to suckle and grow her young
            before the springtime demands of living
            supplant this cloistral life.

For though we cannot see it, beyond seedtime and harvest
there is in this necessary time
a special kind of living

In this season, the earth invites us
to let our breathing go soft and slow
to enter our place of rest and renewal
to feel the deep rhythm of
            the bones of the earth
that is not about all that has passed away
but what lies ahead, waiting to emerge. . . .

©Abigail Hastings @