Quakers in Hamilton



A few days ago, at the beginning of this month, I sat at the breakfast table looking out into the woods behind the house, where the snow was all gone except for a few forlorn patches, the trees of course were bare, and the sky was grey.  The view seemed irredeemably gloomy.  So I took a walk.  Jacket, hat,  gloves, boots, and out onto a nearby hiking trail through the woods.  That's where I realized I was wrong.  The amazing, graceful architecture of trees can be seen so clearly when the leaves are gone.  Tiny lakes of snow are like lace doilies laid on the table of the land, and their whiteness is echoed by the shelf fungi climbing a slender tree trunk like a miniature staircase.  At the top of a hill, a wintering hay field is a gentle gold, a colour all the sweeter for being spread out beneath the silver-grey sky.  With open eyes, and mind and heart tuned to the imagination of the Creator, we can see great beauty where we thought there was none.

Winter Light

Of course it is low,
sweeping round the southern rim
of my northern home,
and it is long,
stretching from the distant sun
as earth inclines away,
and these are things we know
and understand, or claim to,
as natural consequence of
our planet’s revolution,
this reasoning cannot explain
how winter light
gleams with such delicacy
through skeletal woods,
illumines sky and snow
with silken wisdom,
spreads with a grace that
transforms grey to pearl,
the heavens’ soul.

Beverly Shepard,
Clerk, Hamilton Monthly Meeting

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