LIKE A FULL FORCE GALE
NEIL FINN - OUT OF SILENCE

WINTER TREES (EVIDENCE OF WHAT CAN'T BE SEEN)

Winter Trees 2

 

Winter trees on a north coast headland

That drops into Murlough bay

Asking mystical questions

With  the serenity of their gentle sway

And I'm fascinated by the mystery

Did God peer down then bending

Pencil sketch them in the cloak of darkness

Or the distraction of the sun descending

They are so skilfully shaped like dancers

So brilliantly and beautifully bent

And I’m sure there ain’t no short cut

But a long slow consistent dent

And what of my life landscape

Do I stand there the shape of intrigue

Evidence of what can’t be seen

Like these winter trees?

 

A poem to fit a windy day like this one as we watch the trees in the garden whichever way she chooses.

I wrote this one afternoon at one of our favourite north coast haunts; Murlough Bay.

Being winter the trees stood out. Without their leaves, they looked like little sketches. I imagined their shaping by the wind off the sea, years in the sculpting. I think that an album by County Antrim singer Bob Speers called Northland was inspiring me. I think I also might have lost the run of myself and considered being influenced by Seamus Heaney!

The preacher in me then started surmising my own life and how the powerful wind of Holy Spirit was shaping me by the long consistent blowing across my life - "evidence of what can't be seen". We cannot see today's wind as it forces its way across our landscape. Evidence of its presence will be all over the news broadcasts.

The 'no short cut' line is the belief that one massive blast of the Holy Spirit cannot achieve this. God's influence is, most of the time, a consistent blowing. Eugene Peterson's Long Obedience In The Same Direction book on the Psalms of Ascent is in there too.

I had the privilege of joining this poem up with a lovely song by Sam Hill called Listen To the Breeze and it went on our album under the moniker Stevenson and Samuel called Grace Notes... 

 

Winter trees on a north coast headland

That drops into Murlough bay

Asking mystical questions

With  the serenity of their gentle sway

And I'm fascinated by the mystery

Did God peer down then bending

Pencil sketch them in the cloak of darkness

Or the distraction of the sun descending

They are so skilfully shaped like dancers

So brilliantly and beautifully bent

And I’m sure there ain’t no short cut

But a long slow consistent dent

And what of my life landscape

Do I stand there the shape of intrigue

Evidence of what can’t be seen

Like these winter trees?

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