Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In the bleak midwinter

from w
I wanted to do some drawings/paintings connecting the winter solstice with the silhouettes of trees but didn't get around to do it. Even today I'm not happy with these two pictures that I made this afternoon. I left my sketchbook behind at a meeting so just had to remember the trees I had seen.

Here in Geelong it is not really a 'bleak midwinter' as there are many flowering shrubs, roses, brightly coloured creepers, and I saw a tree loaded with cumquats. A photographer from the Geelong Advertiser made an interesting picture using the different times of day - from dawn about 7.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

But I have been reminded that the long dark night of the winter solstice is not just for one day for many people in today's world. Our speaker at the Women's Interfaith group this morning is a refugee from Iran. She had to flee her country because she is a bahai and people of her faith were persecuted in terrible ways. It was a lively discussion and enlightening because it is hard to imagine being hounded because of a set of beliefs, and the bahai people that I know are peace-loving people.

A poem I wrote, and posted some time ago, but I think it is still topical - this mid-winter.

Seasonal blessing

When spring buds gently appear
may new forms surprise you
with their unexpected breath.

When summer flowers open out
and wave their coloured flags
may you have a discerning eye

When autumn leaves drift softly
may their maps of silver lines
grace your footsteps.

When winter’s chill sweeps under foot
may we all be reminded of blue skin
and that bones are brittle.

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