We’ve been in the midst of a bitterly cold stretch of weather recently, and a particularly snowy one as well. This, strange to say, is perhaps my favorite time to go out to see Lake Michigan, to watch the waves crash against the icy sands, to see the barren trees reveal their secrets: their skeletons, their ornaments of nests. There’s something oddly soothing in the wildness of nature and the realization that we haven’t tamed it. Not really. Maybe it’s simply that it makes my own stresses seem small in comparison.
The last two years I’ve managed to see Lake Michigan on New Year’s Eve. There’s something intriguing in the fact that the new year starts when the days are short and harsh and the world is stripped of so much of its finery. There’s something wonderful in the fact that when the world is at its darkest, we can look to the future in hope that soon all things will be made new.
I wrote this particular sonnet on New Year’s Day 2017. Although it doesn’t have anything in particular to do with the day itself, I do find it fitting that I’m posting it one year later for about the same reasons that I wrote it in the first place.
Come See the Glory
Written January 1, 2017
Come, see the glory in the barren trees
And in the creaking, bone-bleached, windswept dunes
And in the thunder of the crashing seas
And in the piercing cry of lonely loons.
Come, walk these hills and fields beneath the clouds
That form and roil and break, pierced by the sun
And tread these city streets, broken but proud
And see God’s glory shine in everyone.
This land reflects the glory of the King
Even within these barren winter days.
We long so greatly for the coming spring,
And yet, this deadness calls us forth in praise:
That in this deadened land and silent earth
One day new life will come and give us birth.