Abiding in Exile 2/10/2022

Abiding in Exile 2/10/2022

February 10, 2022

Abiding in Exile.

by: Rev. Dr. Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon


I return to poetry this week, and this is a poem about how each season doesn’t end or begin suddenly, but in movements, in flutters of different parts of life that appear and awaken us to the way time moves forward: not all at once but in recognitions. Maybe in seeing something that tells us we are a part of something larger, something that reminds us everything is passing and everything is beginning all at once.


Winter Birds


There is still snow but the robins have returned

early, this February, in the freeze and ice:

they are clinging to the branches, bundled

in red and brown and white;

they are here now, as though arriving

in a time before expectation.


I could not believe it when I saw them,

and looked to the space above the long drain pipe

where they nest in Spring – and the nest was waiting,

ready, as though it too endured a winter,

as though the birds had never left.  Amazing entry

into what might seem forsaken spaces,

in the shiver of this season, they return

as this is their time, beyond belief.


I am reminded of how nothing is certain,

not winter’s firm silence and unyielding frost,

not the absence of leaves, not the thin air:

these bright ruffling of promises 

deny the season its right, are laughter

in the silent eclipse of grey that hovers

like a blanket slowly descending over death.


They, these robins, these unhurried whispers

speak into the wind and linger, un-swayed,

while the arms of the tree rock, 

almost imperceptibly, back and forth,

trying to grow into the time

when the day lengthens, its light warming,

the story of its life, another hidden ring.