Winter is chill and gray here in Columbus, Ohio, where the sun can disappear for days. But the sun always breaks through again, and winter becomes light-struck. There is much to be thankful for, even in a dark season.
We are thankful today for the light fading in embers
for trees, frost-barren, that will flower forth in spring
for the great black dog who romps friendly in the drifts
for the pale pink sunlight that ends our tranquil day.
And surely we’re thankful for that bliss of the body
quiet at the center, even when illness rails
for tea, milk and sugar, sweet in the frosty morning
for the deep cold afternoon that chills our bones delightful.
We give praise for the white dove on the wire, singing
for the bright snow that falls and kisses the lips
and thanks for the gray clouds that stoke our winter dreams
and the fire in the heart that comforts us endlessly.
We cherish without measure the joy of our companions
the carefree walks, lolling along the frozen river
and thanks for the pain that reminds us of pleasure,
for the shadow of death that defines our fortunate lives.
Thanks for quiet contentment, praise and heroic laughter
for the money that buys us bread at our table
for the chance to offer to the supplicant at our door,
thanks for this brief time we call now and all.
Thanks for love following us, tracking us down, pinning us
for the restful warmth once we’re down for the loving count
for affection sustaining us, bursting out and all over us
for the righteous energy of everything, embracing us right now.
Even a thanks as we say goodbye, the light of the world diminishing
thanks for body, blood, and bone, unquenchable spirit
for this rare and plain opportunity just to be here
in winter’s home that heaven cannot faintly imitate.