Starlings in Winter

Hey, everyone.  Like a lot of people, I welcome the solstice.  It’s a magical, powerful time.  The longest night is a time of stillness and reflection.  When my kids were younger it was always such a mad dash to the finish line of Christmas day, and the solstice would come and go without much notice.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing, but I’m grateful now for the quiet, for time to think and dream and be still.  The long, dark nights of winter are my reminder of the ebb and flow of the seasons, and of my life.  I arrange a small space in the corner of my room and light a candle, recite my gratitudes, and set intentions for the coming year.  And, of course, read a little poetry.  I am grateful for all of you, and hope you find peace and happiness through the darkness and light of the coming year.


Starlings in Winter

by Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

  • HeidiC says:

    I love the solstice, and Mary Oliver — thank you for offering us both! I live for the reminder that we’re turning toward the light.

  • Musette says:

    Beautiful! I’ve been reciting all my gratitudes, alladetime, in appreciation for the Universe has given me and The Girl.

    Solstice and Holiday blessings!  Xoxo A

  • Elizabeth Watson says:

    How lovely! Yes, Solstice is a special time.

  • Portia says:

    Beautiful. XXXXX

  • Tara C says:

    What a great poem, thank you. It is feeling cold and dark and lonely here right now. Time to recite some gratitudes and resurrect some dreams.