We all can remember our “heart’s dark winter.” Last night I had one of those moments that brought back memories of a very painful time in my life, and it made me seek out this poem by the Dominican priest, Fr. Paul Murray.
In quick or in slow succession, frost
into fire, fire into frost,
the seasons of the year return
and leave us numb with cold
or warm us, like the seasons of the heart.
But that last season you endured
—your heart’s dark winter—
was so bleak and cold that still
to this day, to this hour,
the frost remains in your blood.
But now is the moment of change,
now the apocalypse.
Today, swept by the winds of another
season, the blossoms
of the fruit trees are ablaze with colour.
Surely it is the end of spring,
the promised summer?
So say “yes” and “yes” again
to this moment
while it turns, for soon it will be gone.
And soon the trees of spring
will become the trees of memory,
and will be shaken by the powerful winds
of memory, cowering
like blown candles and blazing askew.
—Paul Murray in The Absent Fountain