Not spring, but promising spring. Not winter, but the dregs of winter.
I looked up February in Bartlett’s Quotations, and there is only one reference in that collection of famous sayings about February. Only one. And it’s the one that says February has 28 days, except in leap year when it has 29.
February, apparently, is not a month that inspires poets, playwrights or philosophers.
Yet it would seem February is the very month when poetry and song are needed to lift our spirits and help us all look forward.
And so I thought I’d share with you a portion of a blessing from the Celtic, from “Anam Cara” by John O’Donohue:
On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble
May the clay (under foot) dance to balance you.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
The clarity of light be yours,
The fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of God be yours.
People get to feeling pretty low sometimes in February. The days seem gray, and often don’t seem to be going anywhere. Hopefully the above poem will help a little. Another thing that might help is the poetry in the Bible in the book of Psalms. In the Psalms the writers complain (sometimes they even whine), they talk about their problems, they tell about injustices and unkindnesses, they vent, they reveal the things that happen in real life as experienced by real people. But always in the Psalms there is hope for intervention from God. There is trust that whatever the circumstances, God will eventually set things right. And often the Psalm that began with a complaint or a cry for help ends in praise.
In his book “Finally Comes the Poet,” Walter Brueggemann writes about all the human things that happen in the narratives of the Bible, all the troublesome things, and all the glorious, awesome, amazing things. His premise is that finally comes the poet whose words and songs knit our lives together with God’s.
The poets Brueggemann is talking about are the Psalmists, the poets who are found in the very center of the scripture, the heart of it, you might say.
So I invite you to enjoy the February sunshine when it comes. Take time to sit quietly and thank God for another day, even if it is a “blah” February day. And I invite you to attend a worship service where people gather, even in February, to hear the good news of God’s love and providence for us all.
Make the best of February.
Rev. Dr. Marcia Dorey is pastor at Halifax Union Society.