liminal: savouring the sacred space in-between the now and the next

Honour the space between no longer and not yet — Nancy Levin

Liminal days

Caught in apricity 
as I savour the unexpected 
warmth of this wintry
sun, arriving soon after
a deluge of rain, witnessing 
the drama which unfolds
in contrasts, where light kisses dark
and light doesn’t pull back
because it carries 
difference in its golden heart.

These are liminal 
days, dancing on the edge
where a new season appears
to break, with sun revealing 
snowdrops, crocuses, incipient
daffodils, tender green fronds 
of beautiful bluebells to come,
eclipsed by what remains—
the spare, bare bones of winter
still grimly holding on.

My soul sits in ice sometimes 
because it’s waiting for a thaw
to relax it into love, plant it
in peace, persuade it to take 
a deeper breath, a longer
look, a calmer exhale, 
and to shift gratitude to 
a whole new level, as I face
the need to open up
to mercy flowering from above.

It isn’t arduous,
it doesn’t take much at all 
for us to reorient ourselves 
back to joy and faith when 
we see evidence of spring,
note vital change occurring 
and sense our souls being
set adrift, freed from winter’s 
harsher grip, as we float calmly
toward signs of hope unzipped. 
© joylenton

change: on yearnings, adaptation, and gratitude for where we are now

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” — Henry David Thoreau

Yearning for change

These naked limbs, 
licked and warmed 
by sun’s soft caress,
have their arms open 

for an early entry 
of spring, longing deep
at the heart 
for sap to rise again 

and the blooming
of buds to start
to burst forth, giving them
a new dress, new chorus.

Each branch,
every stem 
and arthritic twig reaches
up to the heavens,

like a prayer, a plea
to be noticed,
to be spared the worst
of winter’s onslaught,
and to have a fresh
covering of leaves
as chill winds blow,
leaving them drawn taut. 

But even so,
they might forget just how
majestic they are 
in their pared back 

barrenness, their state 
of cold undress,
which has its own perfect 
beauty we observe, its own

form of sculptural loveliness,
as we stop and pause
from our labours
to watch nature at work. 
© joylenton

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” — Rachel Carson

This poem arose when I paid attention to the apple tree outside our living room window. The more I studied it throughout the day, the more my sympathies were engaged and my gratitude enhanced for simply being here, acting as a silent observer of its wintry state and potential future growth. Because immersing ourselves in nature, in small ways and large, is a great way to stir creativity and bring us a deeper measure of soul peace.

“Change” happens to be my #oneword365 for Poetry Joy this year. Where are you receiving reflective thoughts from the created world as it beds down for winter yet retains a new kind of beauty in its structure, its place of peace and quiet repose? Do share below. 🙂 ❤

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” — Eckhart Tolle

winter: being receptive to its beauty and story

“That’s what winter is: an exercise in remembering how to still yourself then how to come pliantly back to life again.” ― Ali Smith, Winter

Winter’s story

 Winter is not something
 to be feared 
 but admired for its still, 

 still beauty. Because it’s
 where a world appears 
 to hold its breath

 and sigh, carpeted as it is
 with deeply frozen 
 potential teeming beneath

 darkened soil. Wet grasslands
 are rimed with frost, liquid drips 
 from hedges and trees

 as if to say, “Look, look,
 don't you see?”
 Yet so often we turn
 our cold, cold faces 

 to the wind, huddle 
 into woolly scarves,
 stamp our fretful, impatient 

 feet, like we can’t wait
 for spring or to get away.
 But then we might miss

 the invisible invitation
 hidden in mist, concealed
 in muffled greyness, skies

 laden with snow, perhaps,
 or in petrified puddles
 now become miniature 

 skating rinks we risk our 
 limbs on as we walk.
 We’re so dismissive
 of pared back trees losing 

 their verdancy
 that we fail to grasp
 just how majestic, how starkly

 splendid they really are.
 A life isn’t only glorious
 in springtime or abundantly

 beautiful in summer,
 because our autumnal days
 and whitening wintry glaze all have
 their own story to tell,

 etched into each season,
 their own magic to whisper
 into our receptive souls
 if we decide to notice it.
 © joylenton

“It seems like everything sleeps in winter, but it’s really a time of renewal and reflection.” ― Elizabeth Camden, Until the Dawn

NOTE: If you need a bit of help to see the beauty of winter or fail to appreciate the invitation to soul stillness it provides, maybe the free pdf excerpt from my book ‘Embracing Hope’ will help to gently steer your thoughts in that direction. *Just click on the cover below to download it.* And if you would like to read more, then you’ll be pleased to know that the ‘Embracing Hope’ e-book is on special offer up to January 18th! xo 🙂 ❤