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Thoughts for a very snowy day

Posted 2/9/2013

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  It is hard to write much of anything this morning beyond "WOW! There is a lot of snow out there." It has finally stopped, and my husband I have been outside with snow shovels for the past hour. Shoveling the walk was just like doing so after some of the later snows two years ago. I remember then that I had to somehow throw the snow higher than shoulder level, and I had to do the same today--after a single snowfall. At least this is light and fluffy snow. If it were the wet, heavy kind, I could not have done it. Did have one surprising first: I wore outside a great pair of "Wellies" that my daughter gave me. Kept my feet dry and warm. However, and this is a big however, I literally could not get them off when I came inside. Some snow had falled into them, and the wet or something created a suction. I had to ask my husband for help, and he could barely do it. Lesson learned: these are English and meant to be rain boots.

  Fortunately, it is Saturday, so no one needs to go anywhere. Very fortunately, we have power, so it is quite nice to be snowbound. I am selfishly grateful that this happened this weekend and not any of the past four when we had travel plans that surely would have been cancelled. I spoke yesterday to a friend who had planned to leave this morning for the Caribbean. Naturally, the flight had been cancelled, and there were no available seats for days. He was very upset, and had his travel agent looking hard to see if there were any possible alternate route ("I told her I would go to London and back if necessary.") I am sure there are thousands of people whose lives have been really disrupted, and that is terrible.

  Hope that you are inside and dry and warm and did not have special plans that were cancelled by weather. And this lovely poem is connected to yesterday's very lovely essay:


The Waking


I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.

I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?

I hear my being dance from ear to ear.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?

God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,

And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?

The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do

To you and me; so take the lively air,

And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.

What falls away is always. And is near.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

I learn by going where I have to go.

Theodore Roethke, “The Waking” from Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke. Copyright 1953 by Theodore Roethke.

Reprinted with the permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke (Doubleday, 1961)

Home > Poems & Poets > The Waking


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