Providence and Common Sense
Gusts of wind topping forty miles an hour
send wisping streams of powdery snow
snaking across the frozen tufts of pasture,
across the bare planks of the deck,
across the winter-caked crusts of mud and gravel
that make up what we have left
of a driveway in January.
By afternoon, the wind chill will be well below zero.
In the dim dawning of such a storm,
small drifts form in the lee of tree trunks,
fence posts, clumps of grass,
and anything else offering a chance
for the slightest break from this lancing.
Down the hill below the house,
Randa’s palomino Foxtrotter,
coarse hair dinged by weeks of winter,
stands in the doorway of the shed,
hindquarters stuck inside toward the hay,
head lifted in the direction of the highway,
ears tilted back but not flattened.
He has learned in his eleven years
that it is good to have something
like a barn or at least a grove of trees
between you and winter’s worst days.
Even the sparrow knows
that some hours are better spent
scratching for seeds beneath the interwoven branches of the thicket
rather than hopping about in the marrow of the storm,
cursing the cold and pining for summer.
The God Who Gives Us Seasons
also gave us Reason.
Or at least has made the offer…