Mid Winter Tanka

From the tallest tree

by the half frozen canal

of blue afternoon –

the startling music of

so many winter blackbirds.

~ Susan Jefts

Sometimes it seems like little is happening in the low light overcast days of mid winter, when a sense of sameness has blanketed the landscape. But then sometimes if you get very quiet for a while, and listen to what else is there, you will find inspiration or meaning in the least likely places. The above was written on a bleak February day, in a town with little aesthetic appeal, but I was drawn to the canal that runs through it and the old steal bridge that spans its width to a rocky cliff on the other side. So I parked, opened my window for air, and was overcome by the sheer music of hundreds of birds from a nearby elm tree. It transformed the moment, changed my plan for the next half hour, and shifted my energy enough to see what it was I needed to do for the next couple weeks to get my creative flow back on track. That meant, as it often does, switching gears and changing some of what I had planned to do for the week; and just that in itself was energizing, because it was coming from my own inner knowing, and less from the voice of shoulds and practicality.

So don’t pass up those subtle intuitions, urging you to turn down one road rather than the usual one, to make an unlikely stop, or say the unexpected to someone. And to then listen a bit further, to what else it might be leading you to.