I know some people don’t like hiking in the winter. It’s cold, sometimes damp, and there’s no wildflowers or foliage to look at. But we winter hikers know that when the leaves drop and the petals fall and the branches are bare, you can see all new things. Previously hidden vistas and whole new perspectives open up when the greens and yellows are all stripped back. The frozen ground feels more solid under your feet on a winter trail. Oh, until it snows, and then there’s this soft give to the way, a give that accompanies a quiet, a quiet that seems to take over the entire woods. As if its all waiting for you. With tiny critter footprints giving away adventure tales, and cold weather loving birds singing some pretty sweet songs. And there’s nothing like the way frost sparkles off each stick, branch, grass, and plant. Sure, its cold, but there’s magic out there even in these harsher months…

So today I will bundle up and join you out there, O God. In your marvelous cold, icy sparkle. In your solid, gentle December creation. In your winter wild. If you don’t mind, please find me out there, and show me something lovely. Help me to notice the special sounds of this season, of this moment. Help me see new views. Help me feel your sturdy earth, grounding me and pushing me onward. And help me to sing along, to move within, to play a small part, in this winter story of wonder you keep creating.

Amen. 


Rev. Erin Counihan was the Pastor at Oak Hill Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO. She is in transition, on her way to starting as the new Designated Pastor at Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, DC. She is a contributor to the RevGals book.



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