winter’s work and the wind’s breath

winter’s work and the wind’s breath

Today’s walk outside has been a beautiful gift to me. Today, I left the iPod behind, and for the first time in a long time, I could hear my thoughts think. Thoughts about…
winter’s work and the wind’s breath.
Winter’s work. I saw evidence of it while making my trek around the neighborhood. Brittle, brown leaves lined the gutters, skittering along behind me, in front of me and all around me at the whim of the wind. A lovely sound… a gentle tapping of the pavement reminding me of winter’s work on their previous vitality. And even though their green has faded, their moisture gone, and their lush diminished to dryness, their occupancy on the street remains despite the beginning buds of their replacements. And they are still lovely. Still shapely. Still intricate in their design.
A memorial to an earlier season.
Wind’s breath. A carrier of brittle things. Lighter things. Things that have allowed winter its work within them. The wind cannot carry things heavily tethered to earth. Whether a leaf, a blossom, a bird, or a heart, when life stays attached to worldliness, life will never know the uplift of the wind—the soaring, gentle, gracious rise of heaven’s breath.
A memorial to an eternal truth. One that says there comes…
a going down before a going up.
a drying up before a flying high.
a letting go before a being held.
a tender fall before a gracious lift.
a sacred burial before a sacred resurrection.
a winter’s work before a spring’s revival.
Indeed, my thoughts could think again today, if only in brief. Just enough of a reminder to me that all has not been lost in my winter. That with the brittle and brown and drying of this season, I have retained my occupancy upon this earth. Still intricate in my design; still retaining the veins and shape of an earlier season. Still here amidst the promise of spring, yet lighter because of the stripping of winter.
Today, like my leafy friends, I’m better able to rise with the wind’s breath because of winter’s work within me—a going down, drying up, letting go, tender falling, sacred burial kind of work. A vigorous work in my flesh and in regards to my faith. Winter seasons are like that. Rigid and unrelenting at times, forcing their agenda, begging no apologies.
As with the seasons on earth, so it is with our hearts. We cannot forego winter, in favor of spring, summer, or fall. We simply must receive it as it cycles around, believing that “to every thing there is a season and time to every purpose under heaven.” Winter holds a wealth all its own, and today I briefly caught a glimpse of its worthiness. I heard it as well.
Skittering leaves pushed along and lifted up by the wind.
Winter’s work and heaven’s breath.
Even so, carry me Lord Jesus, and let the chorus of my winter be your spring’s reminder to someone who’s yet to take hold of a sacred letting go. Lift us all to that higher place.
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35 Responses to winter’s work and the wind’s breath

  1. To everything there is a season…. Lovely post, Elaine. So glad that you are coming out of your winter and are headed toward spring. Bless you.


  2. Elaine…the Lord woke me at 6am with a writing about the 'wind' and it's significance in my life right now. Remarkable that this post would appear here today.

    Beautifully written. It is touching my heart and blowing His peace within.


  3. "Winter’s work and heaven’s breath"… may that sweet heavenly wind of the spirit of God continue to breath on you and through you as you do His kingdom work. What beautiful and inspired words, Elaine. Many thoughts of and prayers for you these days my friend. Blessings, Susan

  4. Words so true and when I sit here at my computer and hear the wind howl outside, I long for Heaven's Breath.

    Thank you Elaine once again for bringing a sacred pause in my present moment.


  5. I have to admit…this winter season in my life has been rough. I'm definitely looking forward to the spring.

    Love you…

  6. BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS MY SISTA! Thought about you last night when we watch Cool Running with our grandsons.
    The Jamacians named their sled, PEACE FOR THE JOURNEY!

  7. We look forward to eternal sunshine! But it will show what the winter's trials have produced, in God's wisdom.

  8. Elaine, you have expressed this so well. Each one of us walks a winter journey somewhere in our lives. And we are the richer for having done so. Bless you as you continue forward!

  9. To ride the wind in winter. Sometimes the heaviness of snow weighs down the withering leaf. But ah, alas! The sun shines, the snow melts (sigh!) and He carries away the old and establishes the new…

    A planting of the Lord for the display of His Splendor.

    You are. You do. 🙂

  10. Ditch your ipod more often. As your dad would say, 'Now that will preach!' Reflections like this do what I want a good sermon to do–give me something to 'chew on' spiritually and mentally. The imagery is rich and potent. Speaks so much more eloquently than the ipod. Thanks for your Faith-ful work. M

  11. Beautiful Elaine…poetic!
    I continue to lift my voice to heaven on your behalf!
    It was very windy here yesterday.
    As I walked my dog, I listened and watched as the power of the wind rushed all around us. The slushy roads were dried as a result. Your words, "winter's work and heaven's breath"…a perfect descripton, not only of the seasons we walk through…but all of life. I'll always think of your words when I feel the wind on my face "heaven's breath"…beautiful!
    Hugs! xo

  12. I just posted a similar entry regarding winter. You have had such a difficult season. I am finding the beauty of winter's work – although it has taken me awhile to recognize. Thanks for your post! Hope you are feeling well.

  13. You have such a beautiful way with words Elaine. I've missed visiting you lately. Life has been challenging here in different ways than you've encountered. But God is there in the midst of it all. Keep walking and writing Elaine.

    blessings and love,

  14. I enjoyed taking this walk with you tonight. I listened to the wind's breath – and I rejoiced in the work that winter can do in one's soul.

    You are still on this earth, Elaine, yes indeed – and I am glad for that. Your winter speaks loudly to my heart – and the stirrings of spring in your life give me hope.


  15. You have written and expressed this soo beautifully as always, and it of course is soo true. The seasons in our life, just like the seasons in the weather come in the perfect order that God designed and one has to be traveled through to get to the other. Each serves it's purpose and can't be skipped over. How wonderful to be standing at the beginning of a new season in your life FULL of promise from Him Have a lovely Sunday! HUGS

  16. Elaine,
    Your blog captured my thoughts…and has me inspired to write a blog piece–we will see how it works. Spring will be here soon! Bless you on your healing journey!

  17. Praising God for Winter's Work and Heaven's Breath. For life. For new life. Rise sweet friend, rise and let God's breath continue to carry you into Spring.

    Much love,

  18. Beautiful post, Elaine. I love the sound of skittering leaves, too, and love the phrase you used to describe them — a memorial to an earlier season.

    So glad that you are coming out of your current winter season and tasting the life of spring. May God grant you extra blessings as you enter a new season. Still praying for you!

  19. Elaine, your words are a beautiful memorial to your own harsh winter. I am so glad spring is coming!!! I am praying you into full bloom!! I don't visit much but I think of you and pray for you often.

  20. Looking forward to Spring, but knowing that God works in all seasons. Praying God's blessings are beginning to bloom all around you… and in you.

  21. Your writing, Elaine, is inspiring and inspired. Coming out of a long, cold, difficult winter, you are preparing yourself and us for the glorious promises of Easter: Resurrection, and New Life. You enrich our days, and we love you.

  22. I can feel the change in the air… spring is coming! Oh what joy there is ahead!

    You continue to inspire all of us!!


  23. I agree with Leah…to everything there is a season.

    The planted seed must die before it is raised to a new creation with its supple leaves and its lucious fruit.

    When God works within our lives, the old must die so that the new will come.

    I'm praying for all the newness of spring into your life.


  24. I so appreciate your prayer "Even so, carry me Lord Jesus, and let the chorus of my winter be your spring’s reminder to someone who’s yet to take hold of a sacred letting go. Lift us all to that higher place.


    We had spring like weather his weekend and not it is brittle cold. so ready for spring in more ways than one…like you.

    Believing him~Pamela

  25. Spring is a lovely time, but it would never come without the storms and the quiet work of winter. Nice post, Elaine! I'm celebrating with you the coming of spring…

    Blessings, Joan

    P.S. sorry about the previous deleted comment…just can't handle my type-os! lol

  26. You….and your words….never cease to amaze me! You have a gift! And you always share what you've learned with us! Thank you!

  27. Walking through winter too…your words are like a breath from Heaven to a weary soul! thanks for sharing your heart once again! You are loved, dear sister!

  28. wifeforthejourney:

    This is indeed a turning of the seasons in our life together. You are in my thoughts and on my heart this morning. May God's breath bear you up and carry you in these coming days.

    This is truely an inspired word for anyone living in a "wintery season." May the hope you have written about stay deep in your heart.

    Love you,

  29. How very beautiful, Elaine…

    May we never be so "heavily tethered to earth" that "heaven's breath" fails to raise us up…let's SOAR with HIM!

  30. Elaine, you and I must have had the same voice in our heads this week (now whom might that be? 🙂 ).

    My boys and I took a walk in a local forest last weekend, and I had very similar experience which I actually wrote about yesterday. It brought to mind Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, and filled my heart with thoughts of transition and rebirth.

    Thank you for sharing your walk with us, and have a Blessed Day!

  31. Winter's wind blew from another direction (apparently) last night. I woke to a totally different pattern of snow on the window screens. I couldn't WAIT for the outside light to dawn to photograph the results. (Turning on the inside, artifical lamps did not provide the required light for photography.)

    There's no predicting the beauty created by those wintery winds, is there? And sometimes, the dimensions of that beauty are not fully appreciated until the "Outside Light" shines for us to capture and cherish the view…

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