Two inches of snow in Atlanta. Polar vortexes. Snow days. Winter has us in its grip, and an icy grip it is. Of course, every winter feels apocalyptic in its way; we tend to let Spring and Summer thaw us into a kind of balmy forgetfulness, only for Winter to return with bitter reminders. Such are the seasons, if one is lucky enough to live someplace with seasons. (I grew up in California, where the seasons consist of “raining” and “not raining”. It imparts a rather unrealistic vision of all things weather-related.)

We also experience, at various times in our lives, a winter of the soul. Hope is in cold storage; the way ahead appears alarmingly icy. It is during these times that we ought to turn to comfort, whether that’s a warm cup of soup or a familiar prayer. Personally, I derive comfort from poetry.

Lately, I’ve been intrigued with the metaphor and connectedness between birds and prayer. (Which is strange, because birds, especially in large number, generally give me the heebie-jeebies.) Both ascend skyward, singing. Both are as natural as the seasons. So, in honor of Winter, please accept the following haiku. And stay warm!

Word of praise takes flight
soars heavenward on bright wings;
blessings fall like snow.