I have composed a little verse in observance of the Winter Solstice/Christmas season for many years. I began the 2013 version as I awaited our son's arrival from warmer climes in the oasis parking lot on I-294 just south of O'Hare Field in the waning minutes of Friday, December 20. The verse was completed in the course of the following day. Like a painter who uses her environment as a backdrop for sharing her message, I was using my observances of the weather and the days at Redbud Creek Farm as a setting for communicating my thoughts and hopes. And while it is normal for our northern Illinois weather to oscillate between colder and warmer, I had no foreboding that a 'polar vortex' was lurking in our near future.

Freezing, Easing, Dreaming
Winter Solstice 2013

The longest night in northern Illinois
Starts rainy and cold changing to light snow
Followed by a gradual temperature decline

The weather outside is not frightful
Just miserable with no chance to seek
A comet, satellite, or star in the east

Sleighing snow is mostly melted or icy armor plate
Though the brightening dawn unveils fluffy snow
Frosting each dark stick, branch, and trunk

It is quiet at the Farm above Redbud Creek
The hubbub of growing time a memory or mirage
Just a bit of pre holiday scent still in the air

Pundits predict the demise of all things presidential
Amid the continuing slog back from the brink
With nary a glance at the ticking thermometer

Above the creek and along the river full of ice
The Farm runs on beauty's spark and shared delight
Laced with hopes and dreams amid the flow

Above the field a bald eagle flies into the cold wind
It banks and soars, suddenly abandoning the hunt
To float in the moment, gliding on a breeze full of grace

In a few days the bitter cold will ease, ice will thaw
A time to stretch and inhale the sun, thinking of fresh growth
Before an even more powerful cold leaves you breathless.

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