It doesn’t happen in late winter all at once,
there is time for some discernment. When cold

winds from northern plains sweep down to
join south’s humid air, and snow adrift through

mountain valleys streams up and down peaks
onto western prairies, there is still time for early

season buds to ready. When frigid gusts cavort
with spate and flakes after days of temperate zeal,

fog plays hide and seek with aurora sun on
Smokey Hill between suburban houses neatly

rowed and patterned. Winter thunder startles.
Rain begins its fall and northern squalls call

partners to the dance to coat fresh buds, an interval’s
stinging warning. Ice cocoons bare limbed trees,

chandeliers clink in glacial flurry. There is time
for limbs to stretch and drip, reveal burgeoning

essence in afternoon’s late sun. Patience is required
to quarter in spring’s germinal unfolding.

Author’s Note:


This is a new word in my vocabulary – discernment. It sounds so serious, and yet there is a beauty, almost an echoing exhale and resting inside, deep down. Exactly what it means.

There is a calm that sweeps over me when I think about it. I relax. Odd, I usually don’t do that when I have to make a decision. But using the word discernment seems to assure me that I don’t have to hurry. I can take my time. The answer will come if I quiet my thoughts and listen.

However, putting myself into discernment doesn’t mean I will be lazy and expect that through some magical voice the answer will arise. Discernment is active. I have things to do, been given, because I asked. I usually panic here, also.

I worry that I will make a fool of myself. Prove that this was a mistake. People will say, “Yep, that’s her, biting off more than she can chew. Thinking she can, when she really can’t, or shouldn’t. Who does she think she is?”

But that’s not what I hear now.

A little over a year ago I started Passage Meditation. Small changes happened, almost imperceptibly. The most important thing that happened was when the first realization bubbled to the top and asked, “Did you just see what you did?”, it wasn’t in judgement. It was truly a voice simply asking if I noticed. And the next time, or maybe a few times later, my thoughts echoed along with the voice, “I saw what I just did.” And maybe, down the line, and only once or twice in this year or so, my voice led, “I know what I am going to do.” And thinking the better of it, I didn’t.

So with this new awareness opening a place inside, deep down, I sink into discernment. I quiet myself to listen. I take up the tasks to complete and not judge.

I am at peace with waiting for the thaw.

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