Yesterday was Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar, which reminded me of the T.S. Eliot poem of the same name. I wish I had studied this one in college, because I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than I’m getting now. It’s long; you can read it all here. But this excerpt from the end of the last section seemed to fit with the weather today and my general mood. (Not literally “the aspiration to move from spiritual barrenness to hope for human salvation,” as Wikipedia says, but maybe the hope for spring? And better times?)

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth

This is the time of tension between dying and birth
The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks
But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away
Let the other yew be shaken and reply.