A few weekends ago I facilitated a winter journal making workshop with Living Art of Montana, which offers “people facing illness and loss opportunities for expression and connection at no charge”, primarily through connection to art and nature.

As a writing prompt, six of us traipsed around a nearby vacant lot on a sunny, calm Saturday morning  before the winter solstice. We did so in silence, focusing on what we heard, smelled, noticed and felt, then returned indoors to free write before sharing our impressions.

The following is a “bowl poem” we created that day, where one line from each person’s poem or prose is written on a piece of paper and placed in a bowl, and then arranged by the group to reflect a larger narrative and essence of what we shared and experienced together. Happy solstice, and to the return of the light following winter’s longest, darkest night!

Triplets Pressed Into the Cold

And a Whisper of Belly Drawn Across The Snow

Nourishing Lonely Green Grass Islands

Small Thin Delicate Sheets of Ice

Lacey With Beauty That’s Hard and Cold

The Snow Becoming a Map of Patterns of Summer’s Leaving

Trees Once Green With a Profusion of Leaves

Now Stark Skeletons Dripping With Blood Red Berries-

Who Could Have Known?

More, I Want More. Quiet, Mystery, Beauty.