The sorrows and joys of Christmas are a memory, and spring is only a faint hope. Great flocks of snowbirds have fled Minnesota’s January cold and snow for warmer climates. But those of us who stay here, by necessity or choice, have discovered over the years that January is good for many things. It invites us to hibernate, slow down, read long books under a warm afghan. If the weather outside is too fierce, January asks us to pay attention to what Robert Frost calls “inner weather”—those storms, powerful currents, and unsettling shifts in pressure that we’re usually too preoccupied to notice. We turn inward, and then begin again: to mend an old quarrel, to tell the truth, to be brave, to love this Earth in all its frayed beauty. And the liquid music of a January thaw promises that even deep in the heart of icy fear and a grief that feels like death, God’s life-renewing love is stirring.
By a Sister of Saint Benedict