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.

                                    Winter Thanks

         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.