Reflections on Winter

This afternoon I walked into Kleanza Creek, was awestruck by the blue green water swirling in sluggish pools. Water- a deep luminescent reflection of ice and snow clinging to the creek bed, laden branches weighted with crystal shards. The water’s musicality clean and crisp in the silent air.

Winter in the north, winter in Canada, both breathtaking and challenging. Much easier to vacate to warmer climates but then what would we miss.

The time to go inward, to go deeper, just like this river bed. Find our way through imagination and dreams. Lean into our intuitive nature to discover new paths. Where to flow. How to overcome challenges that might lie ahead.

These are my reflections enhanced by  learning about the water element from Cheri Reidy, acupuncturist and Qigong teacher. We collaborated in a workshop where she offered her in depth knowledge of the body by teaching a model of how to live in balance with the forces around us while I offered my passion for artistic expression through collage.

 Water Element workshop 2019

These images call me to extend my reflections to our beloved poet Mary Oliver. She died In January of 2019 at the age of 83, both in the water element of the cycle of earth and in the water element of her life. We come into the world, nurtured in the wombs embrace and if we are lucky we can age into the water element, where we can slow down to deepen into our inner wisdom. Mary Oliver embodied this essence with her deep respect for witnessing and recording her presence in the natural world.

I grieve for this loss. Her words are akin to a healing balm.  Blessings Mary.

     ~Mary Oliver

In winter
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird
with its white eyes
shoves and pushes
among the branches.

Like any of us
he wants to go to sleep,
but he’s restless—
he has an idea,
and slowly it unfolds
from under his beating wings
as long as he stays awake.

But his big, round music, after all,
is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.
In the pine-crown
he makes his nest,
he’s done all he can.

I don’t know the name of this bird,
I only imagine his glittering beak
tucked in a white wing
while the clouds—
which he has summoned
from the north—
which he has taught
to be mild, and silent—
thicken, and begin to fall
into the world below
like stars, or the feathers
of some unimaginable bird
that loves us,
that is asleep now, and silent—
that has turned itself
into snow.


About Joan Conway

My artistic passions are poetry and collage. But I am curious human, always exploring new mediums, new opportunities for creative expressions.
This entry was posted in Collage, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reflections on Winter

  1. Joan, as always your reflections create a clear pool of calm water – always welcome. Thank you.

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