“Midwinter spring is its own season/ Sempiternal, though sodden toward sundown.” I think of these words, from the opening of TS Eliot’s poem “Little Gidding,” every year in Epiphany. They are especially alive for me this week, when I am teaching a class on Eliot’s Four Quartets at Virginia Seminary. Eliot’s words name the season sometimes called the “January thaw,” when we sometimes glimpse spring in a brief warm spell, but he is also naming a season of life, a spiritual awakening to the mystery of grace at a dark time, in mid-life, a season that is “sempiternal,” partaking both of our time and of God’s time, “time out of time.”
“Midwinter spring is its own season/ sempiternal…” Especially this year, when the Epiphany season will be so short, I am making a practice of watching for the light, welcoming each sparkling winter morning as a moment of “time out of time,” and receiving the mystery of God’s light, shining into the world around me and inviting new life.
Kathy Staudt is a member of Our Saviour, Hillandale and an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Theological Seminary and Wesley Theological Seminary. How do you experience light this time of year? Share your stories and thoughts on Facebook.