Usually, I put a hard stop on the day around lunchtime to just read or pray. It’s become a regular part of my deepening. This Thursday, I shut the door to my room and turned to face the windows overlooking the courtyard. The snow lazily fell from the sky until stirred to life again by the wind. I watched, mesmerized, trying to trace the rise and fall of a single snowflake. And then my prayers began … as poetry.
We tend to think of our prayers as rising, like the incense offered in the Holy of Holies. It’s normal to direct our supplications towards heaven, so imagining our prayers falling felt counterintuitive, initially. Yet, if we imagine our prayers rising like vapors to the heavens where they congregate and cool, forming clouds that then release the rains and snows on the earth, it’s not so farfetched. If our prayers are simply the very echoes of the Father’s heart, and He longs to move here on earth as is it in heaven, then it’s only fitting that prayers fall like snow, changing the very face of the earth, washing all things white and eventually, soaking into the soils itself where they find roots and bugs and stir life.
This winter is still young, but this snowfall is ripe with the hope of Spring!
Vincent H. Anastasi – 2021
Let our prayers like snowflakes fall,
sharp and pure,
carried by the the wind
’til they descend
to cover earth’s browned
and brumal quiescence.
And let them gather
on roofs and roads,
capitols and byways,
upturned faces and huddled shoulders;
no plow or shovel,
salt or cinder
can hinder the destined thaw
when all melts and runs together
pursuing paths of living water,
saturating waiting earth,
quenching thirsty roots,
stirring new life,
awakening prophetic crocus blooms
regardless of what frosts may come.
Revive, O! sleeping bear,
return red-breasted robins,
bud and blossom, burst forth
green from brown from white!
Now, come Spring with all you bring –
nishmat chayyim –
’til all is alive, alive, alive,
and harvest hopes find their first flowering.