Sometimes we have to hold open the questions

Heavy snow here in France and very cold weather is forecast for the next few days. Here is a poem from Mary Oliver in similar conditions as she walks in a landscape covered in its white blanket. The beauty of nature changes the way we hold the questions which are always present in our lives.

The snow began here this morning and all day
continued, its white rhetoric everywhere calling us back to why, how, whence such beauty and what the meaning; such an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now, deep into night, it has finally ended.
The silence is immense, and the heavens still hold
a million candles, nowhere the familiar things: stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect and nightly turn from.

Trees glitter like castles of ribbons, the broad fields smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions that have assailed us all day
remain — not a single
answer has been found –
walking out now into the silence and the light
under the trees, and through the fields,
feels like one.

Mary Oliver, First Snow

2 thoughts on “Sometimes we have to hold open the questions

  1. We have abeautiful spring-like weather here in Washington DC. But this snowy note of yours brought the beautiful memory of an absolute silence that felt like an eternity which I had once experienced while skiing in Poland. I sometimes go back to this memory when my life gets very hectic. Thank you Karl for bringing it back to me! Marta

  2. This is an exquisite poem and vision. I too love the silence when it is very cold and the snow falls, especially at night. Sometimes, the idea that there are no answers is very comforting. The snow falls for no reason, it just does.

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