Wake-Up Call

Dust of Snow

The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.

[Robert Frost, Anthology of Robert Frost’s Poems, New York: Washington Square Press, 1971, p. 240]

Robert Frost chose Poe’s nevermore black bird, a tree whose distilled nectar killed Socrates, and the form of water that’s beautiful, blinding, and a cause of hypothermia to the unwise.

It’s not always the obvious or the eye-catching that shakes us from our existential stupor – that haze we stumble through, blind to the gift of life that every day presents.

We don’t get a do-over and we can’t reclaim hours long past. But we don’t have to lose the whole day to our own melancholy/boredom/self-pity. Just about anything can snap us back to the present moment.

Thank God.

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Wake-Up Call”

  1. beautiful. Thanks, Johnna. These things are happening around us all the time, aren’t they?. We just need to see–be aware–feel–internalize. This poetry we are experiencing in your blog is an opportunity to wake up, for sure.

  2. Thanks, Bill. It’s been such a weird time for the world, and it feels like it is simultaneously easier and more difficult to look around. Peace, Johnna

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